According to multiple cancer studies, swimming in chlorinated pools with disinfection by-products (DBPs) may increase your risk of developing various types of cancer; however, this does not mean that people should stop swimming altogether. In an interview with NBC News, Manolis Kogevinas, an epidemiologist at the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona said, “People should not be afraid of swimming, but we should get more research on whether there are better practices for disinfecting pools.” Traditionally chlorine has been the most common method of disinfecting pools, and it does a great job at killing pool contaminants. However, when chlorine reacts with organic materials, such as sweat, lotions and urea in the pool water, it produces by-products, such as combined chlorines or chloramines. In addition to red eyes, skin irritation and unpleasant “pool” odor, disinfection by-products are linked to an increased risk of lung, bladder and other types of cancer.
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