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How to Minimise Our Exposure to Chlorine

Chlorine – we're used to it in a swimming pool, but somewhat controversially, it's in regular tap water we drink and wash with. But why is it in our water?

Chlorine – we're used to it in the local swimming pool, but it is also in the regular tap water we drink and wash with. The Australian Government Department of Environment explains chlorine is used as a "purifier", and in human drinking water and swimming pool systems as a disinfectant [1].

What are the side effects of chlorine?

According to the water filter company Waters Co, chlorine can be an energy zapper - they explain that chlorine can be absorbed into the skin (the same way skincare products can be absorbed) when showering and bathing so if you have sensitive skin or mild eczema prone skin you may want to minimise your exposure. Waters Co adds that chlorine can also vaporise into the air when showering, so keeping your bathroom well ventilated.

Concentrated exposure to chlorine can cause burning of the eyes, nose and mouth [2]. And, we all know it doesn't do your hair any favours; particularly for coloured or dry hair as chlorine (especially in pools) can cause hair to feel dry and fade out and even alter the shade of colour treated hair.

How to minimise exposure to chlorine every day

1. With a shower filter - Install a Vitamin C shower filter, such as Waters Co Therapy Shower Filter. Do beware that some filters use sulphites to neutralise chlorine which should be avoided if you are sensitive sulphites. The above Waters Co filter uses Vitamin C to neutralise the chlorine and includes added natural sea collagen to help hydrate the the skin each time your shower.

2. Recent research conducted by Macquarie University NSW has indicated that our regular [tap water may also contain traces of copper and lead]. They indicated that contaminated tap water may be detrimental to brain development and cognitive functions. I personally use this Waters Co Ace 1.5L Alkaline Water Filter which not only removes chlorine, copper, lead and other contaminants but up to 99% of fluoride* too. It features an ionised carbon and alkaline minerals which remineralise and ionises drinking water designed to keep it alkaline (while tap water is generally alkaline, some water filters can strip the water so it is more acidic). Using one of these jugs is also great for the environment and works out to only 3 cents per liter. Much cheaper and eco friendly than bottled water!

You can read more about the benefits of drinking water and staying hydrated here.

3. Use a bath water neutraliser - The Life Basics Bath Softener is great for kids and adults with skin issues. Developed our naturopath, it has been designed to help neutralise the chlorine in water which you and your family bathe in. It contains Dead Sea Mineral Salt which is rich in nutrients and this is combined with Vitamin C, which is widely known to help neutralise chlorine, this combination may help manage common skin issues such as dryness.

You can also make your own chlorine-neutralising spray to use on skin when you come out of the local pool. Mix one small teaspoon per 100ml of water. Pour into a small spray bottle and spray onto the skin. Note: a new batch needs to be made each time, as the mix won't remain stable. To help shield your hair from chlorine swimming pools, you can coat it in some organic coconut oil.

Sources: [1] and [2] Australian Government, Department of the Environment and Energy, [3] and [4] World Health Organisation. *Waters Co.

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