People go to the hospital every year because of exposure to too much chlorine in their pools. Often, chlorine toxicity is the result of an error such as putting too much chlorine in the pool, mixing chlorine with other chemicals, or a chlorination system malfunction.
Chlorine poisoning can be very serious and causes symptoms including:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Coughing and wheezing
- Burning sensation in eyes, nose and throat
- Rash or burning skin
- Shortness of breath
- Watery eyes
Commercial pools can reduce the likelihood of these events by ensuring their aquatics staff is well trained, taking time to properly balance chemicals and checking regularly that equipment is functioning properly. In addition, facilities that want to reduce their chlorine use can invest in an advanced oxidation pool system that enables pool to more efficiently use chlorine, reducing consumption by 30 percent to 70 percent.
In home pools, an advanced oxidation system can enable the pool to be completely chlorine free. This eliminates the health problems associated with over-chlorination and chloramines.
Chlorine toxicity is not the only way chlorine can harm your health. Disinfection byproducts are formed when chlorine interacts with organic compounds, including sweat, lotion, urine and other contaminants commonly introduced to the pool.
Lifeguards commonly suffer from a condition nicknamed Lifeguard Lung because of the effects disinfection byproducts, or chloramines, have on their respiratory function. Disinfection byproducts can also cause allergies, asthma, red eyes and itchy skin.