Healthy Blog

Is Chlorine Bad for Me –Tips for Pool Swimmers

Monday, September 05, 2016

Swimming for fun, exercise or competitions is one of the healthiest activities you can do to keep your body in peak condition.  But if you spend a lot of time in a swimming pool, you need to be aware that chlorine is a powerful chemical that causes irritation of the eyes, skin and respiratory system.

Asthma

Chlorine in indoor swimming pools can cause occupational asthma in swim instructors and lifeguards, who may be affected by the chlorine gas in the enclosed atmosphere.  This type of asthma improves or disappears altogether when pool staff change to jobs away from any contact with chlorine. 

In addition, competitive swimmers are more likely to have asthma or other breathing problems than other athletes.  And scientific studies have proved that children, who already have risk factors for asthma, have an increased likelihood of developing the disease if they use an indoor chlorinated pool regularly.

Actually, it isn’t the chlorine itself that causes problems, but when it mixes with other things in the pool, like sweat, dried skin cells and urine etc. it reacts with them to produce other chemicals.  The new chemicals cause irritation, damage to tooth enamel and other problems.

Healthy swimming tips

On the other hand, chlorine does a great job of killing dangerous algae and bacteria that grow in swimming pools.  So don’t abandon the pool in favour of a local lake where the water will definitely be teeming with incredibly unhealthy stuff!

  • Wear a mask and goggles to protect your eyes, nose and mouth from contact with chlorinated water
  • Avoid swallowing water when swimming
  • Try to take a day off between swims rather than swimming in chlorine every day
  • Switch from chlorine to a silver-copper ion generator to kill algae and bacteria in the water
  • Outdoor pools are healthier as the chlorine gas disperses in the fresh air
  • If you have an indoor pool make sure the levels of chlorine are checked frequently 
  • Too much chlorine is more dangerous than too little 

Swimming is great way to exercise and have fun and if you follow these simple tips you’ll be able to enjoy it to the full!