CHLORINATED WATER IN THE SHOWER
Dear Rainshower Customer,
The following is an excerpt from the best documented information that we have found in 10 years on the subject of chlorinated water in the shower. This was published in the Australian Magazine, Nature & Health. Vol. 10. No. 4., Issue Summer 1989.
Article published by: Whedon Young Productions Pty. Ltd. 372 Eastern Valley Way, Chatswood, New South Wales 2067, Australia From "One Hundred Years Of Water Chlorination", Pages 44-49, by John F. Ashton, Chief Chemist Australian Food Research Laboratories and by Dr. Ronald S. Laura, Professor in Education, University of Newcastle and Chairman, Sports Medicine and Health Education Committee, Hunter Academy of Sport, New South Wales.
Chlorinated Water & Unknown Hazards of the Shower
There is another side to the chlorine-water story. When we return from a gym workout or a jogging session or a game of squash, not only are we thirsty but we usually shower or bathe. We have been taught that cleanliness and health go together, and indeed they do, when chemical-free water is used. When chlorinated water is used, however, bathing may be much less healthy than we ever supposed.
Gasses are as a rule less soluble in hot water, and when water is heated or boiled dissolved gasses are released. Boiling water is as we noted earlier a way in which the free chlorine content in water is greatly reduced, the chlorine escaping into the air. When we have a hot shower or run a bath we can sometimes smell the chlorine released as it escapes from the hot water. In a confined shower recess, however, especially one with poor ventilation, the chlorine escapes from the water as we continue the hot shower and steadily increases in concentration in the air we breathe. The olfactory threshold for chlorine is about 3.5 PPM (parts per million) so when we can smell chlorine the concentration is already above this level. The lethal concentration for ten-minute exposure is about 600 PPM and we suggest that regularly taking hot showers with chlorinated water could pose a health risk. Chlorine causes pulmonary edema, and it would seem likely that regular exposure to chlorine gas even at low levels such as in normal showering may reduce the oxygen transfer capacity of the lungs. This could be a critical factor for athletes and for others prone to heart failure.
Another aspect to be considered is our skin. Our skin is an important protective barrier for our bodies. When we shower with chlorinated water we are essentially exposing our skin to a relatively large volume of a dilute chlorine solution. Some of this chlorine reacts with the oils in the skin to form chlorinated compounds and it is these compounds which may then be absorbed by the body. It seems very likely, considering the strong oxidizing power of chlorine, that regular exposure to chlorinated water serves also to promote the aging process of the skin, not unlike extended exposure to sunlight. Moreover, chlorine may actually enhance the aging effects of ultraviolet radiation by reinforcing the process of cell deterioration.
Another skin factor to be considered with the destruction by chlorine of the natural bacteria balance on our skin. Our skin has an ecology, all of its own, which needs to be preserved in order to maintain healthy skin and its associated beauty.
- Hodges L., Environmental Pollution, (N.Y. : Holt, Reinhart and Winston, 2nd Ed., 1977, p. 189).
- Llewllyn, W. J., Journal American Medical Association, Vol. 146, No. 13, 1951, P. 1273.
- Sinclair, H.M. (Cited by Clark,L., Get Well Naturally, N.Y.: ARC Books, 1971, P.327).
- Passwater, R.A., Super-Nutrition for Healthy Hearts, N.Y.: Jove Publications Inc., 1987, pp.155 - 156).
- Price, J.M., Coronaries, Cholesterol, Chlorine, Banhadlog Hall, Tyliwch, Llandridloes: Pyramid Publications Ltd., 1984, pp. 32,33).
- "Atherosclerosis may start with cell proliferation" Journal American Medical Association. Vol. 227,No.7, 1974,p.734).
- Revis, N.W., McCauley P., Bull R., and drinking water disinfectants to plasma cholesterol and thyroid hormone levels in experimental studies', Proc. National Academy of Science, USA Vol. 83, March 1986, p. 1485. p. 1489.
- "Preliminary Assessment of Suspected Carcinogens in Drinking Water' Report to Congress, US Environmental Protection Agency, Washing D.C., 1975.
- "Water Contaminated Throughout US", Chemical & Eng. News, 28 April, 1075,p.19.
- Dowty, B., Carlisle, D. Laseter, J.L. "Halogenated Hydrocarbons in New Orleans Drinking Water and Blood Plasma", Science,Vol. 187, 1975, pp.75-77.
- Pate, T., Harris, R.H. Epstein, S.S., "Drinking Water and Cancer Mortality in Louisiana", Science, Vol. 193, 1976, pp.55-57.
- Trehy, M.L. and Bieber, T.I., "Detection, Identification and Quantitative Analysis of Dihaloacetonitriles in Chlorinated Natural Waters?, in Keith, L.H., (Ed.) Advances in Identification and Analysis.
KDF®: THE PREFERRED SHOWER FILTER MEDIA
In developing a dechlorinating shower filter, designers are basically limited to two media types acceptable for potable water use: GAC (granular-activated carbon) and KDF® (atomized brass). Other media have been tried, most notably calcium sulfate, but were not deemed acceptable by us for shower filter use.
GAC is an effective dechlorinating medium, and many early manufacturers thought its properties were directly transferable to shower filter applications. Not so. First, carbon is not recommended for hot water use. Unlike drinking water units which, on average, operate at ambient temperatures, shower filters are continuously exposed to temperatures ranging from body temperature to 105 F. At these elevated temperatures, some of the contaminants absorbed by carbon can slough off and reenter the water stream.
Since GAC is also light in weight, it requires a much larger housing to achieve the same density as other filter media. The density of KDF® allows for a more efficient use of space. For example, 16 ounces of KDF® can be housed in a filter body with only 12-13 cubic inches of internal capacity. For GAC to achieve the same level of performance, you would need enough media to fill a bucket or more! GAC is also highly absorbent-like a cellulose sponge-and becomes saturated with contaminants after only hundreds of gallons of use versus thousands of gallons with KDF®, requiring more frequent replacement.
Rainshower Mfg. Co., Inc. was the first shower filter manufacturer to use KDF® in their shower filter and today, non-carbon shower filters are the norm, and KDF® the preferred media among shower filter designers. This non-organic filtration media does not remove organic contaminants. Contrary to the claims of other shower filter manufacturers, KDF® Fluid Treatment, Inc. states that heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, arsenic, and mercury cannot be removed with the amount of KDF® used in a short filter body at a high flow rate, as exist in a shower filter. However, it is extremely effective at free chlorine removal. KDF® is also bacteriostatic (inhibits reproduction), and tends to reduce or eliminate fungus and mildew build up in the shower.
505 Medium Pressure Filter with KDF® granular and KDF® Filament
KDF® is comprised of 50% copper and 50% zinc. It removes free chlorine by reversing the electrochemical process that originally separated the chlorine from sodium in a brine solution. Here's how it works: Copper and zinc are dissimilar metals. The tension between these metals generates between 900 and 1100 millivolts of electricity in an aqueous state (i.e., as water passes through the media). This is enough electricity to generate a galvanic charge, which reestablishes the original electrolytic environment that liberated the free chlorine. The chlorine is able to recombine with the most prevalent metal in the water, usually calcium, to form a soluble chloride, which washes out of the filter and is harmless to humans.
KDF® not only offers superior dechlorination capabilities, it lasts much longer than carbon media does. Depending upon the filter model and the amount of KDF®, a KDF® shower filter should last seven to nine months. However, it should be noted that KDF®'s effectiveness is measured by its ability to generate the electrochemical action described earlier - not in gallonage. The cathode-anode relationship between copper and zinc (which generates the galvanic charge) is disrupted by particulate contaminants in the water. As a result, the less particulate matter in the water entering the filter, the longer the KDF® media will generate adequate levels of electricity to effectively remove free chlorine. So, a KDF® shower filter in Bangor, Maine, where the particulate contaminants in the water are low, will last a lot longer than one in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Because buyers are more familiar with the "gallonage" terminology, many KDF® shower filter manufacturers list gallonage as a life span rating. However, this should be viewed as a warranty figure rather than a true representation of the actual life of the product.
If you would like a more "in depth" look at this topic, please read this technical paper written by Rainshower's founder and president, George Ricci.
Technical discussion on the use and application of electromagnetic crystal in dechlorinating shower filters
Why would Rainshower, the premier manufacturer of dechlorination devices for the home and garden use the same mineral compound that made untold millionaires in California's Silicon Valley computer industry?
Why indeed! Because they both discovered how to harness Mother Nature's amazing crystal technology.
It might stretch your advertising imagination if we said "Use computer power in your shower". But, what if we told you that the same silicon dioxide that allowed a computer to retain memory (silicon chips), allowed you to listen to wireless radio transmissions on a "crystal" radio set? What if we told you there was a connection between your Rainshower Restore shower filter and a crystal movement watch or clock? Or, a smoke alarm? Or, a sonar detector?, Or a television set?, Or an electronic component such as an oscillator, resonator or amplifier?
Just the same as you, we never thought about it until we began our research in crystal technology in 1997.
What is Crystal's Geologic and Chemical Description?
Depending on the scientific source, between 70% and 80% of the earth's crust is quartz.
What is quartz? Quartz is a chemical combination of Silicon, element 14 and Oxygen, element 8. Combined they form Silicon Dioxide (SiO2).
You are most familiar with silica in the form of sand. Glass products are made from basic silica plus other materials. But crystal is also silicon dioxide therefore it is also quartz. What is the difference? While all crystal is quartz, not all quartz is crystal. [There are other minerals besides crystalline quartz that posses a crystalstructure. When crystal is referred to in this report we mean crystalline quartz.]
At this point you should be saying, "I'm confused, please explain".
A recent book by English authors Morton & Thomas on Mayan archeology refers to the Myan use of crystal. In their book they offer this scientific description of crystal formation:
"Natural quartz, or rock crystal, on the other hand, is entirely a product of Mother Nature. It actually grows in the ground, taking sometimes billions of years to form. Crystals grow deep within the Earth's crust, usually around volcanic and earthquake activity. The process requires immense heat and pressure and always a 'seed' crystal is needed to start it off. This seed is created when a single silicon atom, under intense heat and pressure, fuses with two oxygen atoms from superheated water or steam trapped in the same space. The atoms fuse to form a single crystalline cell of silicon dioxide, the substance from which all quartz crystal is made. (The by-product is hydrogen.) Over the millennia, if conditions are right, this seed starts to grow. But the surrounding fluid must contain just the right proportions of silicon and water, or pressurized steam, maintained at a phenomenal intensity of heat and pressure for a sufficiently long period of time. As the primordial fluid oozes over the first cell of silicon dioxide, the cell starts to replicate itself, laying down its complex crystalline structure one atom at a time. Every cell in the crystal repeats the same pattern. Each cell is a tiny little crystal in and of itself, and each cell repeats the same pattern as the one before. In this way the crystal builds up a complex three-dimensional network structure, known as a 'crystal lattice', with absolute geometric regularity, where every cell is exactly symmetrical and precisely repeated throughout the whole. And so little by little, over the years, a piece of pure, transparent natural quartz crystal comes into being. In it's natural state it is highly angular in shape, always with six sides, tapering at either end to a fine point." (Morton & Thomas; reference 1)
In his 1986 book, "Focus on Crystals", Australian crystal expert Edmund Harold expands on Morton & Thomas by identifying the electromagnetic origin of crystal energy.
It is known that there are vast iron ore deposits within the sub-strata of the planet and the iron particles line up north-south whenever they are free to move (when they are molten, for example), attracted as they are to magnetic North and South Poles. They become magnetized in a similar manner to the iron rod within the coil. These magnetized deposits subsequently influence the growth patterns of all minerals within their vicinity, particularly quartz crystals. Where such energies are present during the 'seeding time' of rock quartz-that initial period when the boiling geothermal waters, laden with liquefied silicon dioxide, pour through ancient volcanic gas chambers, or flood the fissures deep beneath the Earth's surface - they are absorbed within the structure of the slowly forming crystals.
The closer such crystal formations lie to the magnetic core of the planet, the greater their magnetic field. All quartz mined in areas such as Arkansas in the United States - a region which is extremely close to that core - emit powerful electromagnetic energies, and this area currently provide the purest quartz crystals known to mankind. Much of the output mined in this region is used by the electrical industry to improve our current lifestyle. (E. Harold; reference 2)
Incidentally, crystal is also very hard. On the widely used MOHS scale of hardness, diamonds are at a 10 scale, and crystal is at a 7 scale. One of the main sources of Rainshower crystal is Arkansas.
What is Crystal Electro-Magnetically?
In the 1860's Pierre and Jacques Curie (Pierre and Marie Curie identified radium) discovered that some types of pure quartz captured electrical energy in it's formation over millions of years at the magnetic core of the earth. It possessed a strange kind of electrical property. They called this property "Piezo Electrose". Piezo is a Greek word meaning, "to squeeze" and Electrose means, "to get a charge from". (Morton & Thomas; reference 2)
PIEZOELECTRIC PROPERTY The piezio electric effect was first observed in the laboratory. Several minerals, including tourmaline and sphalerite, also exhibit this effect.
Electricity is electrons in motion. A small electric pulse can be generated from some crystals whose atomic arrangement allows the electrons to move in certain directions, and quartz is one of the minerals that have this property. The flow of electrons is caused by a change in the shape of the crystal, which can be induced mechanically or thermally.
TRIBOLUMINESCENSE TRY-bo-lumen-essence. Luminescence is light or a glow. Triboluminescence is light that is produced by pressure, friction, or mechanical shock. It may be readily demonstrated with two hand-size milky quartz crystals in a darkened room. Simply take the edge of one crystal and rub it back and forth on the face of the other crystal. You may simply rub two faces of the crystal together, but you get more light using the former method. You can also knock together two milky quartz pebbles of landscape rocks. An orange-yellow light can be seen inside the crystal. You will also notice a metallic smell. This makes a good demonstration! (Mike & Darcy Howard: reference 3)
This electrical energy that is inherent in crystals is highly visible when two large Rainshower crystals are rubbed together for demonstration purposes.
Because crystal can maintain and control the electrical energy Mother Nature built into the crystal, industry finds it useful in a number of electronic applications. From an industrial standpoint, it could be said that we are in a crystal age.
Why Electromagnetic Crystal in Shower Filters?
Rainshower has maintained over the years an ongoing research program through which we have experimented with a variety of media and treatment techniques for water devices. As a result we became increasingly aware of the potential application of the magnetic resonance characteristics of electromagnetic crystal.
Rainshower introduced crystal to the general market through the Restore (crystalline quartz) shower filter series in March 1998. Insofar as we have been able to determine we are the first company in the water industry, domestic or international, to use crystal in a widely distributed and marketed consumer product.
Why specifically, do we use crystal in all of our dechlorating products?
Because of the electron movement caused in shocking the crystal by "squeezing" it, we generate an electrical charge (see previous section on "Piezoelectric property" and "Triboluminescence"). This electrical charge has an effect on the water molecule.
It is our opinion, based on Rainshower in-house research, that we may be reducing the size of water molecule clusters. In other words we are making smaller water clusters from larger water clusters.
How can we tell?
The evidence at this point is empirical but measurable in terms of physical evidence. The most immediate observation is that soap lather is greater with the use of crystal. This increased sudsing and lathering is due to a reduction of or breaking of the surface tension of the water. We believe there is a similarity between the action of a surfactant (detergent) in water and the crystal in water. We believe the water becomes "wetter". In a real sense we believe the crystal is acting like a "mechanical" surfactant, not a chemical surfactant as with common household cleaners.
Another observation, although more subjective, is that water feels "lighter". While the crystal does not soften water, the smaller water cluster groups make the water feel lighter. This water sensation creates a very pleasant shower water 'feel'.
Early in our crystal research we were told by experts to be aware of another possible benefit to crystal. Either because of the Piezo electric effects or the magnetic resonance of the crystal, a shower with crystal seems to create a sense of well-being to the user. Why?
It is our opinion that we are generating a certain amount of beneficial negative ions in the shower area. Most people are aware of negative ion generators used in homes and autos. They are designed to increase the energy levels in the air of a closed environment by offsetting unwanted positive ions. The feeling created by the crystals and by negative ion generators is the same as the feeling of well-being that you might sense on a mountaintop after an electrical storm. You feel exhilarated breathing the air because of surplus of negative ions created by the electrical storm. There is a somewhat similar occurrence at the seashore when heavy waves break on rock formations. Negative ions are again generated creating that feeling of invigoration.
Rainshower and Crystal
As with all the materials used in Rainshower products, crystal (silicon dioxide) is completely safe and non-toxic. Not only is its chemical combination non-toxic but because of its hardness it cannot absorb materials which could be harmful.
Rainshower uses only virgin crystal extracted from a specially selected mine in North America. The crystal is ground and processed to Rainshower specifications and shipped to us in two thousand pound lots.
Before we use it, the crystal is washed in chlorine free water again and dried in the sun for at least two days. We have found that our special washing and sun exposure adds a higher intensity to the crystal.
We add from one ounce to two ounces to every dechloration product and layer it at the outlet. It is not integrated into KDF® filtering media.
Consumer response has been positive. As a company we are extremely pleased and proud to be the manufacturer who first introduced crystal to the public in this way. The positive feeling generated by an energized shower may be a small improvement in the pressure filled life of the average person, but it is a meaningful improvement.
George Ricci, President, Rainshower Mfg., Co. Inc. Copyright © 1999 References:
- The Mystery of the Crystal---- Bear & Co. 1997, Morton & Thomas
- Focus on Crystals -Ballantine Books NY. 1986, Edmund Harold
- www.rockhoundingar.com/quartz 1999, Mike & Darcy Howard
The Use and Application of Electromagnetic Crystal in Dechlorinating Shower Filters
If you would like a more "in depth" look at this topic, please read this technical paper written by Rainshower's founder and president, George Ricci.
SHOWERHEADS FOR SHOWERFILTERS
There are several considerations when using KDF that need to be factored into the final shower filter design. One of the primary issues is "contact time" - the amount of time the media is in contact with the water before it exits the showerhead. The longer the water is in the presence of the media, the better the media performs. For optimum results of chlorine removal, the flow rate should be no more than 2.5 gallons per minute.
The type of showerhead used with the filter is an important factor in controlling flow rate through the filter. The showerhead should provide the desired amount of water reduction, while giving the user an acceptable shower delivery. Inexpensive showerheads are often "water guzzlers" and may deliver water in excess of 2.5 gallons per minute, exceeding federal regulations. To bring these heads into compliance, some manufacturers restrict the flow (much in the way you restrict flow in a garden hose by crimping the hose) to achieve a lower flow rate. This is not acceptable because restricting flow in this manner can significantly compromise media contact time as well as create an inferior showering experience because of poor water delivery.
The best results are achieved with a high quality, flow-reduction showerhead. Because shower delivery plays such an important role in the filtration process (as well as the user's enjoyment of the shower), use a name brand showerhead for your filter.
Rainshower® provides for their dealers four types of showerheads. A fixed action spray manufactured by Whedon as well as Whedon's hand held hose kit. And a massage action showerhead by Amcor and Amcor's hand held hose kit with the massage action feature.
Rainshower is not only helping with the quality of the water coming out of your family's shower, we are also concerned about the amount of energy used during a shower. According to the Dept. of Energy, heating water is the second largest residential energy user. Showers account for 32% of all home water use. We don't want you to feel guilty about enjoying your hot shower so we have available to our dealers a choice of high-quality water-conservation showerheads that reduce water usage up to 50%. Not only are you helping to conserve one of our most important resources, you are also saving money on both your water and heating bills. An important environmental publication pointed to a study in which experts found "that changing to a water conserving showerhead saves 27 cents of water a day and 51 cents of electricity for a family of four." That is 78 cent savings a day! That means Rainshower pays for itself in energy savings in less than 90 days. (Utility rate prices may vary in different cities)
Not only does the reduced flow showerhead cut energy costs it also provides for the optimum chlorine removal by the filter because the water flow rate through the filter is controlled to no more than 2.25 GPM. This allows for ideal contact time for the filtering media. When using a good quality flow reduction showerhead you can still enjoy a quality shower experience.
Rain Saver Water Saving Throttle Valve
Further water conservation is achieved with the use of a shut-off valve. This can save several gallons per shower. The small push button valve is attached at the inlet of the shower filter. Rainshower sells this shut-off valve exclusively to Rainshower dealers. The convenient shut-off valve allows you to pause the water flow while lathering, shampooing, or shaving. You then turn the water back on without readjusting the water temperature or flow rate.
Water Saving Garden Grow
The Rainshower Garden Grow garden dechlorinator's optimum performance is achieved at a flow rate of 4 GPM (gallons per minute) or less. Therefore the use of drip irrigation or a soaker hose is ideal when used with the Garden Grow because these watering systems will save hundreds of gallons with maximum chlorine removal. Water flow rate is not controlled by the Garden Grow. You must estimate how high to turn on your water for a flow rate of 3 GPM (4 GPM max). Upon first use of the Garden Grow you can observe the length of time it takes to fill a one-gallon pail (or a 3-gallon container) in one minute. This will show you approximately how much to open your water spigot for the ideal 3 GPM flow rate.
Water Saving Tips
- While waiting for hot water to reach your shower, catch the cold water in a watering can to use later on house or garden plants. (Save 100-300 gal./mo.). Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap for cold water. (Save 200-300 gal./mo)
- Run only full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher. (Save 75-200 gal./week).
- Deep-soak your lawn. Water just long enough for water to reach the roots where it is needed. (Save 750-1500 gal./mo.) See Garden Grow below. Water the lawn in the morning or evening when there is less evaporation. (Save 300 gal./mo.)
- Plant drought-resistant native trees and plants. (Save 750-1500 gal./mo.) Water Saving Tips compiled from the Metropolitan Water district of Southern California
Chlorine, # 17 on the Periodic Table of Elements, is, by itself, a yellow-green poisonous gas. It is an inorganic element that cannot exist by itself in nature but needs to bond to another element, the most common being sodium, hence, sodium-chloride, or salt. In fact, commercial chlorine is produced by sending an electrical charge through a salt water solution, disrupting the bond between chlorine and sodium. The free chlorine is then captured and used for numerous household and industrial applications.
About 180 years ago, scientists, while researching the prevention of typhoid in the water supply, discovered that chlorine, bonding to organic substances, such as bacteria, killed it and rendered the water potable. Because of the corrosive effect chlorine had on organic matter, it was used as a horrendously effective weapon during World War One. By nature, the gas, which is heavier than air, stayed close to the ground and destroyed the soldier's, lungs. Today, chlorine is still used as the primary method for disinfecting municipal water supplies, swimming pools, and whitening laundry.
Chlorine's attraction to, and corrosion of organic material doesn't end at the bacteria in the water. Chlorine also attacks your hair, skin, and lungs, as they are organic as well. Chlorine can leave your hair dry and brittle and make your skin flaky and itchy. It can also trigger negative reactions in children, the elderly, and people with chlorine-sensitivity.
Studies have shown that for health reasons it is best to remove chlorine from drinking water. Why not do the same with our shower and bath water?
TESTING AT HOME FOR FREE CHLORINE
Chlorine testing using the OTO (standard swimming pool kit) or DPD test kits may incorrectly show a reading of little or no free chlorine reduction. The presence of iodine ions in the water will magnify the chloramine interference with the OTO or DPD procedure. The presence of chloramine used as a disinfectant in the water supply will also produce erroneous test results.
When a municipality injects both chlorine and ammonia simultaneously into the water supply it produces chloramine. Chloramine reduces the free chlorine's ability to combine with organic matter in the water that produces potentially harmful trihalomethanes, THM's.
Because chloramine has less disinfecting ability than free chlorine, a higher concentration of chlorine is usually used to get the same bacteria kill rate (1)The chlorine remaining in the water, after it has combined with any harmful bacteria, is the free chlorine that the Restore removes. No KDF or carbon shower filter can remove 100% of the free chlorine. To get accurate readings of free chlorine levels it is better to use quality laboratory procedures such as the amperometric titration test method. Even under the best testing methods some amount of chlorine will be indicated.
- Max. Allowable Effluent concentration (mg/L) = 1.06 mg/L
- Average Influent (mg/L) = 2.10
- Average Effluent (mg/L) = 0.72
- Min. Percent Reduction (%) = > =50%
- Avg. Percent Reduction (%) = 65.9
- Rated Service Flow 2.0 gpm