Hazards of Chlorine

no chlorine perfect water

According to Andrew Weil, M.D., Chlorine used to disinfect swimming pools is widely recognized as a health hazard. New research suggests that children who swim frequently in chlorinated pools may have increased risks of developing allergies or asthma. Among adults exposure to chlorine in swimming pools has been linked with other health problems including bladder and rectal cancer.

Belgian researchers found that the risks of hay fever and other allergies more than doubled with significant exposure to chlorinated pools. The study was published in the online issue of Pediatrics on Sept. 14, 2009.

Another Belgian study, published in 2003, showed that an irritant released when chlorinated water reacts with urine, sweat or other organic matter from swimmers increased the risk of asthma among children who regularly swam in public pools. This irritant, trichloramine, is believed to damage the cellular barrier that protects the lungs. Blood samples showed elevated trichloramine levels even among individuals who sat at the side of pools but didn’t swim.

Andrew Weil, M.D. – 2009