Summertime means swim parties, trips to the water park, and lazy days at the local pool. The fragrances of summer may include coconut-scented sunscreen, sizzling hot dogs, and the tangy scent of chlorine. You may trust that the local pool, with its eye-stinging aroma of chlorine, has been adequately treated to keep you safe from germs. However, you may be disturbed to think about just how many germs, microbes, and body fluids are hanging out in the water with you. Here are 13 reasons why that chlorine-scented pool may not be able to keep you safe and healthy.
13. Chlorine and Chloramine
Chlorine is typically added to swimming pools to kill germs and prevent the spread of disease. However, the CDC warns that when the chlorine in swimming pools combines with sweat and urine from swimmers, irritating chemicals called chloramines can form. When chloramines are released from the pool into the air, they can cause irritation to your eyes, nose, lungs, and skin. When using indoor community swimming pools, look for pools that have a ventilation system to cycle fresh air into the pool area.
12. Swimmers Tend to Swallow Water
Whether you realize it or not, when you are swimming you are likely swallowing pool water. A study published in the Journal of Water and Health found that adults tend to swallow about 32 ml of water per hour while swimming. This is equal to just over 2 tablespoons. The study found that children are likely to swallow four times as much water as adults do, and children typically also spend twice as much time in the water. This means that whatever is in the water ends up in your mouth and in your body.