Unless you have a full house filtration system then your regular tap water may contain chlorine, fluoride, chloramines (a mixture of chlorine and ammonia), pesticides, heavy metals and residues of the drugs people take! To me that's a pretty scary chemical cocktail, and one that I definitely don't want to subject my daughter's growing body to.
Before I go on I just want to state that I do understand the reason for the chloramination of our tap water. To reach us our tap water has to flow through water catchments and distribution systems, picking up all sorts of contaminants along the way. Chloride and ammonia are a way of disinfecting our water from certain bacteria and diseases.
The elemental chlorine used to disinfect our water is highly reactive and extremely toxic. Not only has chlorine been suspected of causing colon and bladder cancers, other alarming research shows that it may increases the risk of miscarriage by 14%, and may increase the incidence of stillbirth and birth defects (1). Chlorine can trigger thyroid disease by reducing the uptake of iodine (2) and raise cholesterol levels (3).
On top of all of this (as if this wasn't scary enough!), the consumption of elemental chlorine kills natural intestinal flora, and decreases stomach acid which may result in irritable bowel syndrome and gastritis. Showering/bathing in chlorine strips the moisture from hair and skin, and may trigger eczema.
So I just want to pause there and take a moment to let all of that sink in, because most people don't stop to think about things like this and it can be a lot to take in...5,4,3,2,1 & breath...
So, to help with the concerns listed above when bath time comes around, I suggest you follow these simple yet effective steps:
- Run a bath and add 1 teaspoon of sodium ascorbate or ascorbic acid (both forms of vitamin c).
- Wait 2-5 mins for the vitamin c to neutralise the chlorine.
- Next mix 2 tablespoons of bentonite clay in a glass and add this to the bath water (use a plastic tablespoon as metal and bentonite clay don't play nice together). When hydrated, bentonite clay produces an electrical charge, enabling it to absorb and bind toxins, impurities, heavy metals and chemicals.
- Lastly add 1 - 2 cups of epsom salts or magnesium flakes - this is a little health boost. Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems in the body and most of us are lacking in this important mineral due to soil depletion & the use of soil fertilisers. Adding a little to your families bath is a great hack to boost their health as it is easily absorbed through the skin!
If you want to make it even more luxurious you can always add in a few drops of essential oil or a lovely bath milk (always check which essential oils are safe to use for babies and young children).
- Hwang BF, Magnus P, Jaakkola JJ. Risk of specific birth defects in relation to chlorination and the amount of natural organic material in the water supply. Am J Epidemiol.2002. 156(4):374-82
- Bercz JP, Jones LL, Harrington RM, Bawa R, Condie L. Mechanistic aspects of ingested chlorine dioxide on thyroid function: impact of oxidants on iodide metabolism. Environ Health Perspect. 1986. 69:249-54
- NW Revis, P McCauley, R Bull, and G Holdsworth. Relationship of drinking water disinfectants to plasma cholesterol, and thyroid hormone levels in experimental studies. Proc Natl Acad Sci 1986. 83(5): 1485-1489
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