Swimming Pool Water

Recreational swimming is one of the best methods of low-impact exercise and most everyone loves a leisurely dip in the pool. Children are especially fond of swimming and badger their parents incessantly during the summer months to take them to the pool. As much as we all enjoy going for a swim, there are chemicals in swimming pool water that can create a wide range of health problems ranging from mild skin irritation to impaired respiratory function. Swimming in indoor pools poses a greater risk than outdoor pools simply because the air cannot circulate as freely, and the lack of ventilation allows chlorine gas and other chemicals to linger and enter our lungs.

Why Chemicals are Added to Swimming Pool Water

Swimming pool managers have to add chemicals to the water to control:

These chemicals must be added to the swimming pool water to prevent far more serious illnesses that can occur from contact with non-treated water but they create other problems which are outlined below. This article will focus on the health effects of chlorine, which is the most common swimming pool chemical, and chloroform which is a byproduct of adding chlorine to water.


When swimming pool water treated with chlorine interacts with air, carbon dioxide enters the water as a byproduct and causes the release of chlorine gas which can lead to:


Chloroform and its many different compounds are volatile substances that get into our bloodstream primarily through our lungs. Chloroform gas lingers above the surface of the water and can create health problems which include:


Please bear in mind that only people that spend an extraordinary amount of time in and around pools, such as lifeguards and competitive swimmers, are at the greatest risk for the most serious health hazards. Occasional recreational swimming will most likely lead to nothing more severe than an itchy nose and red, irritated eyes, and overall, swimming is one of the best forms of exercise. But if you or a loved one spend a great deal of time around indoor swimming pools, make sure that the facility is well-ventilated and that you occasionally go outside for some fresh air. That way, you can enjoy the healthy benefits of regular swimming with few of the harmful effects of prolonged exposure to chlorine.