Reactions to Pool Chemicals and Health Risks

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Chlorine-disinfected water doesn’t just kill chemicals and microbes; it strips moisture and excessive exposure can dry out the hair and skin.  Unfortunately chlorine pools don’t just leave hair and skin thirsty.  Extended exposure can cause more severe side effects like rashes, hives and shallow breathing.  Research shows that these reactions are from the chemicals created when chlorine mixes with compounds like sweat, oil, hair care and moisturiser.  This is one of the reasons public pools ask you to shower first.

If you break out with any of the following reactions, check the chlorine levels in your pool. To prevent further reactions and ongoing health risks, you may also want to consider a natural pool sanitising solution.

Chlorine rash can cause skin to itch and burn after swimming.  Symptoms include red rash, raised skin, scaling, bumps or swelling. This isn’t a specific allergy, but a reaction similar to chemical burn from hypersensitivity to the chemicals in most pools. Chlorine is a natural irritant that can agitate existing dermatitis too.

Frequent exposure to chlorinated water, just like exposure to cleaning products, can constrict the airway and cause congestion, a blocked nose and shallow breathing.  Chlorine exposure can sensitise the respiratory tract and increase the risk of developing asthma. Coughing, sneezing, wheezing or tightness in the chest are all symptoms of excessive chlorine exposure too. If you already have asthma, your lungs might burn when exposed to chlorinated water.  Athletic swimmers, lifeguards and cleaners can typically experience these side effects.

Blood shot eyes are a typical sign of swimming in chlorinated water which dries and irritates.

If you suspect a severe allergic reaction, seek medical care straight away.

To reduce chlorine side effects:

  • Rinse off before you jump into the pool and straight away after to remove chlorine residue.
  • Rinse and condition hair and moisturise skin to restore hydration.
  • Rinse eyes with fresh water. Over-the-counter eye drops can restore moisture and healthy composition.
  • Consider switching to a fresh water purification system.

Enviroswim is the most effective way to kill bacteria without any added chlorine or chemicals, compared any pool sanitiser in the world.  Our fresh water swimming pool system is verified by government laboratories in Australia and the USA, and is cost-effective compared to chlorine and salt-water systems.  Click here for more details and pricing comparisons.

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