Should You Worry About Chlorine in Swimming Pools?

Should You Worry About Chlorine in Swimming Pools?

Michael SmithOne of the joys of summer has always been and will always be swimming. There are few things more refreshing than plunging into a pool to escape the summer heat. Swimming is an enjoyable activity for the young and the old, and as far as exercise goes, you can’t find one much better than going for a swim.

One of the joys of summer has always been and will always be swimming. There are few things more refreshing than plunging into a pool to escape the summer heat. Swimming is an enjoyable activity for the young and the old, and as far as exercise goes, you can’t find one much better than going for a swim. Swimming relieves pressure on joints, so it is perfect for people with pain and joint problems. Swimming is great for toning muscles and as a cardiovascular activity.

Most people enjoy swimming in pools, either at clubs, public pools or in the privacy of their own homes. Most of the pools are treated regularly with chlorine to ensure safety against pathogenic microbes. This is a necessary step for safety. Chlorine also serves the purpose of oxidizing organic compounds that get into pool water, such as dirt, skin and insect parts. This oxidation breaks down these particles and allows for easier filtration. So, chlorination basically just keeps your pool clean.

However, chlorine is a powerful chemical. In its gaseous form, one whiff of pure chlorine gas would kill a human. Knowing this, is it safe to swim in?

Anyone that has been in a swimming pool and escaped alive (albeit a little pruned) can tell you that swimming isn’t going to kill you. However, there are some things to be cognizant of when it comes to chlorine exposure.

A Belgian study in published in 2009 reveled that teenagers’ risk of developing asthma and allergies increased with the number of hours spent swimming in a chlorinated pool. Chlorine can irritate the skin, and the gases emitted from the pools can damage lungs.

Knowing these things, there are a couple things to do when it comes to swimming in chlorinated pools. Always shower before and after getting in; chlorine reacts with cosmetics and nitrogen rich products to create toxic compounds. Also, chlorine absorbs into the skin, so rinsing off following a dip is a good idea. Swim in outdoor chlorinated pools; the accumulation of toxic gases will be much lower. Drink non-chlorinated water before swimming; you can still get dehydrated in a swimming pool!

There are non-chemical solutions for cleaning personal pools, such as silver-copper ion generators. But you won’t always have this option. If you don’t have the luxury of regularly swimming in the ocean or spring fed creeks, use caution when exposing yourself to chlorine.

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