Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What dangers are lurking in your pool?

Chances are you and your kids will be swimming in a pool this summer. Perhaps you even have one in your backyard! Swimming is a great way to exercise and I absolutely love it. I never liked pools though for the way my skin and hair feel afterward, only recently I have found out more important reasons to avoid it or use sparingly. It isn't just that the amount of chlorine in most pool is enough to make me gag, that's just one twentieth of the story.

You see, in recent years scientists have realized that the chemical byproducts formed when organic materials mix with chlorinated water are far more toxic than anyone could have guessed. When chlorine reacts with organic pollutants it forms DBPs (disinfection byproducts). They are over 10,000 times more toxic than chlorine itself, for example. In swimming pools, the organic materials that cross-react with chlorine to form DBPs include hair, skin, dried sweat, dirt, and urine. Lotions can also cause harmful chemical reactions.

One of the most common DBPs, the trihalomethanes, has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals. They have also been linked to reproductive problems in both animals and humans, such as spontaneous abortion, stillbirths, and congenital malformations, even at lower levels. This study published in the Journal of Environmental Sciences last year, concluded that swimming in a chlorinated pool presents “an unacceptable cancer risk.”

So your best bet this summer is to stick to salt water in the ocean and fresh water lakes and ponds!

Photo by Luz Maria Espinoza

1 comment:

  1. omgosh... this is rediculous... is the salt pool water better?


We LOVE your comments, please share your thoughts!

Blogging tips