Posts Tagged ‘Swimming pool’


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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PRWEEK reports: One in Five Swedish children cannot swim. The energy firm E.ON’s Swedish subsidiary has teamed up with the country’s swimming federation to launch a campaign called The Power of Swimming, which aims to “inspire young people to swim and to raise water-confidence”.

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Jenny Landreth of the Telegraph reports: The joy of swimming in lidos – and what they tell us about ourselves. There are people for whom the notion of a lido …is not appealing at all.  Some people would only consider dipping their toe into an outdoor pool on a Mediterranean summer holiday where the temperatures barely drop below 30 degrees. Some of course would prefer not to share with anyone outside immediate family. Some swimmers need a roof. And for ‘wild’ swimmers, lidos are restrictive boxes of chemically-treated water, offering none of the freedoms that being outdoors should bring…

The Blue Lagoon Bristol 1937

…To my mind, lidos offer three very particular things: freedom, equality, and community. If all that sounds suspiciously French, it’s merely a happy coincidence because the nostalgia that surrounds them feels particularly British. Something in the solidly unpretentious architecture, and something in the water. Something cold. Maybe it should be part of our nationality exam: if you can get in freezing water then turn to your companions and say through gritted teeth ‘it’s fine once you get in’ you are British. There’s nothing, except maybe cake, we do as well as stoicism.

Swimming History in Leicester

When the then Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Josiah Stamp, opened the Morecambe Lido in 1936 he said: ‘When we get down to swimming’ he said ‘we get down to democracy’.  He was right: we are all equal in a swimming cap…  Everywhere else, we’re prodded and pushed, cossetted and coddled, shouted at and sold to, from screens on the buses, in post office queues, up every escalator, and on our phones. Swimming in a lido puts all of that temporarily on hold. It may be a 90metre artificial box of bright blue tucked in a corner of Tooting Common, but when you get into the water you can be right at the heart of your day, feeling whatever it has to chuck at you. The freedom of solitude and the ability to forget quite where you are, while simultaneously celebrating it. These are simple pleasures. The joy of feeling free, and alive.More…

Did you know – The Lido is responsible for seismic shift in the nations attitude towards swimming. Read chapter 5 of the book: Hung Out to Dry – Swimming and British Culture; Lido’s Open, Rivers Close.

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The ASA reports: A new group has been set up to investigate the links between swimming and health, and demonstrate just how good swimming is for you. The Health Commission for Swimming is an independent group made up of experts from across the health and physical activity sectors. Set up as a response to Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation, the group will explore current research around health and swimming, and provide evidence on how swimming positively impacts on a person’s physical and mental wellbeing.

Ian Cumming, Health Education England Chief Executive and Level 3 swimming coach, will chair the Commission group. He said: “Over the last six months there has been a distinct shift in the national debate about the value of physical activity and the contribution it can make to the health of the nation.

“Swimming is unique; anyone can do it regardless of age, ability or health condition. It is the only physical activity that can be done from birth right through to older age, and with over 16 million people swimming at least once a month, it is well-placed to respond to many of the country’s key health and social concerns.

“We already know that just 30 minutes of swimming each week can significantly benefit general levels of health and wellbeing. This new Commission group will seek to identify and conclusively demonstrate how swimming can help combat a range of health conditions within the population.” Read more…

Comment: With much in the news lately about the hidden risks associated with swimming pools perhaps outdoor swimming will be considered as a healthy alternative.

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Is This Swimming?

Of course it is. Swimming lessons, swimming galas and leisure swimming all take place at the swimming pool. We might like to take a dip at the seaside, but to be honest, for most people, the indoor swimming pool is as good as swimming is ever likely to get.

The fearful thought of swimming beyond the confines of the indoor pool is a legacy bestowed on a nation indoctrinated by teachings that pool swimming is safe and open water swimming is foolhardy and dangerous.

The rough and tumble spirit so evident when swimming baths were first constructed, along with diving boards and play equipment, added enrichment to the confined environment, fun and excitement to the bathers. But fears of litigation should the unthinkable happen has left us with a sterile, stifling atmosphere which fails to attract swimmers once they have mastered basic skills. Our changing culture has drawn a line under the lido era through affordable holidays aboard. Sunlit hotel pools outshine their cold and dilapidated predecessors left scattered across the country. Is this the beginning of the end for swimming in the UK?

Stamford Meadows Bathing Place

Growing numbers would answer no to our initial question; is this swimming? If you could read the thoughts of a dolphin or whale, captive in its so called sea world, I think I know where it would prefer to swim. True, some captive creatures live longer than those in the wild but from a human perspective outdoor swimming does not have to be life threatening.

Henleaze Lake Bristol 1932

If swimming in an indoor pool is not really swimming after all, then we need more safe places to swim outdoors! Local authorities used to provide swimming opportunities in rivers and lakes in the past and they are beginning to do the same again. True we can set off for remote and scenic locations as highlighted by various wild swimming guides, but if like me you live a long way from any such water holes, what can you do? There is only one thing for it. Contact your local authority’s parks and leisure department and ask them to provide a suitable outdoor swimming venue or at least to allow outdoor swimming at a safe and convenient location.

Swimming History in Leicester

No harm ever came from asking nicely!

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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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active blue blur child

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

The Leicester Mercury reports:

More than 80 firms submitted proposals to transform Soar Island as part of a competition being run by Leicester City Council and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

The two-acre Soar Island is in the centre of the city’s rundown waterside area, the subject of a 15-year, £26 million regeneration plan.

It lies in a highly visible location, where the river and the Grand Union Canal meet.

Sarah Wigglesworth Architects’ design [pictured above] is inspired by low-impact living, sustainable communities and the idea of ‘a secret island to live on and play on’. It brings together narrow boat markets, micro-farming and craft workshops with open-air performance space, riverside starter homes and a floating swimming pool.

Discover the history of swimming in Leicester…

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