Swimming pool disinfection is essential to keep the water we swim in free from bacteria and germs.
Disinfection also plays a part in controlling the organic debris from products used on the body, such as deodorant, creams and oils.
Traditional disinfection is done using chlorine but this comes with several drawbacks:
- Red eyes
- Irritated skin
- Strong, unpleasant smell
- Allergic reactions
- Very dry hair
At higher levels of exposure (frequent swimming) chlorine has been reported to cause symptoms associated with asthma, such as wheezing, coughing and tightness in the chest.
Indoor pools pose more of a danger compared to outdoor pools and spas. This is due to toxic gases such as nitrogen trichloride being released. Nitrogen trichloride is a by-product from the chemical reaction between chlorine and ammonia which is prevalent in swimming pools. When this gas is inhaled, it can cause severe damage to the lining of the lungs. It is harmful for a person of any age however, young children and the elderly are most at risk.
Alternatives to chlorine
Whist chlorine is used in outdoor pools, the toxic gases dissipate into the air so do not pose as big a threat to the swimmers. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of an outdoor pool (certainly not here is Scotland!)
There are several alternatives to chlorine;
- Electrolyzed water (ESOL)
These all come with pro's and con's which play a part in the decision making when looking for a chlorine alternative.
Swimming is a fantastic way to keep fit and healthy not to mention it being a life saving skill we should all have. The fact that there are alternatives to swimming pool disinfection, offers you the chance to make swimming even more beneficial to health.
What are you thoughts?
Do you worry about the effects of chlorine in a swimming pool?
Do the health benefits of swimming override the risks from chlorine?