Posts Tagged ‘Chlorine’


The Mail online reports: Don’t go swimming while wearing sunscreen – unless you want cancer.

A compound used in the protective lotions turns toxic when it reacts with chlorine and ultraviolet rays, researchers found.

Avobenzone is considered the most popular sun-blocker in the world due to its ability to absorb sunlight at different wave lengths – preventing skin damage.

But Russian scientists suggest the UV-filtering compound forms cancer-causing toxins when exposed to a mixture of sun and chlorinated water.

Aldehydes, phenols and chlorinated acetyl benzenes were created in experiments simulating swimmers wearing sunscreen.

The latter two are considered extremely toxic and are strongly linked to deadly tumours and infertility, Lomonosov Moscow State University experts say.

While a study earlier this year hinted that aldehydes can raise the risk of cancer as they interfere with the body’s natural repair mechanism.


Sunscreen can render a man infertile by disrupting human sperm cells, a Danish study found last April.

Nearly half of the ingredients commonly used to block out ultra-violet light mimic the effects of the female hormone progesterone.

This stops sperm cells functioning normally, researchers said at the time.

The sunscreen lotion can enter the blood stream by being absorbed through the skin.

Niels Skakkebaek, a professor at the University of Copenhagen said the findings were worrying.

‘These results are of concern and might explain in part why unexplained infertility is so prevalent,’ he said.



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The Mail Online reports on the problems facing swimmers who regularly swim in chlorinated water: Chlorine has been widely used to disinfect our water supply in the UK and most other developed countries for more than 100 years.

Chemical analyst and forensic toxicologist Dr Nitin Seetohul, of Nottingham Trent University, says: ‘When added to water, chlorine is incredibly efficient at destroying a broad spectrum of dangerous water-borne bacteria and viruses, to the extent that it is widely credited with wiping out diseases such as typhoid and cholera in developed countries.’

‘I have been campaigning to change the way we keep our swimming pools clean for the past 25 years,’ says Dr Wright.

‘There are other, gentler ways of disinfecting swimming pools – such as ozone filtration, which involves pumping oxygen, in the form of ozone gas, through the water and then filtering it.’

The problem, in fact, is not chlorine itself, but the chemical by-products – chloramines – that occur when chlorine combines with nitrogen in the dirt and detritus found in swimming pools, such as skin particles, sweat, urine, bacteria and body oils. 

Dr Wright adds: ‘It’s these toxic by-products that give off that tell-tale “bleach” smell we associate with swimming pools and cause problems.’

The stronger the smell, the more unhealthy the pool is likely to be. Have a shower before swimming to remove any make up, dry skin flakes, hair products and body lotion. These residues can also react with the chlorine to create chloramine irritants.

An occasional swim is unlikely to do much harm, unless you are particularly sensitive to chlorine. But experts suggest anyone who swims once a week or more should be wary.


A …recent study of 50 elite athletes, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, showed that almost all the swimmers they examined had inflamed lung tissue, with those who spent the most time in chlorinated pools showing most changes.

‘Although more research is needed, it is thought that chlorine and it’s by-products, when inhaled or swallowed, can attack the cellular barriers in the lungs that protect them from allergens,’ says Dr Wright. This is why some experts believe persistent exposure to chemicals in cleaning products such as chlorine may also be responsible for the increase in allergies in the past 50 years.


Poorly maintained chlorinated swimming pools, have also been found to be responsible for ‘rapid and excessive’ dental erosion in keen swimmers.

Read more here

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Fun in the Water: Never take kids to swimming after activities that cause physical exertion. File photo: P.V. Sivakumar

Read this article from The Hindu and see swimming lessons through the eyes of another culture. In Europe and America even babies are taught to swim, yet advice from medical and sports professionals in India highlight risks and precautions that we might not consider. More…

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Scary: Most were children and almost all were treated and released following the incident at this community pool in British Columbia, Canada, on Sunday

You may have heard this story from Canada over the weekend and will be pleased to know that all but one of those affected has now been released from hospital, an eight year old boy remains on a ventilator  to help him breath after the incident. 45 children and 25 adults were rushed to hospital after chlorine exposure whilst warming up for a swim meet in the community pool. The water is sanitised using chlorine gas which is regulated electronically.

The children smelt high concentrations of gas and started screaming as their eyes and breathing were badly affected. Although they soon felt better when treated in hospital, sore throats and breathing problems returned the day after their release.

I can’t help think that if an incident had affected so many people at an open water venue, outdoor swimming would be branded dangerous and those adults that took their children along labelled irresponsible.

At one time the waters at Serpentine Lido were chlorinated and the equipment is still in place to do so. Reassuringly there has been no need to add chemicals to the lake for many years because the water is now so clean. Yet the same cannot be said for the waters of countless manmade swimming pools across the world.

Swimmers have a choice; I prefer to swim in clean water!

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Gain some incite into the continued risk of swimming in Chlorinated water. Within 20 minutes of entering the water of  a chemically treated pool, those same chemicals start to appear in your urine. Even spectators and those working on the poolside take in the fumes which could affect their health. It takes up to four hours for the body to flush the carcinogens from your body. Young children are especially at risk as toddlers absorb the chemicals faster than older children and adults. More…

Swimming Shorts banned in Germany, wild swimming news

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Swimming pools need  clean water, but some pool owners are turning their back on chlorination and are converting to salt water. The water feels smother and your hair and body are not affected by harsh chemicals.

Swimming Pool


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