The chemical chlorine has been around for hundreds of years. It is a very effective means for purifying drinking water and killing bacteria in pools. But what effect does this strong chemical have on kids that are exposed to it?
There is new evidence that chlorine is causing increased numbers of kids to develop respiratory symptoms. Some of these symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing and other restrictive airway disease such as asthma.
This has been seen even more frequently in people that work around pools that use chlorine especially indoor pools where the whole room smells strongly of it. Though research has shown that it is not actually the chlorine it’s self but the chemicals that are released when organics, such as body sweat, urine and dead skin cells come in contact with the chlorine that is dangerous. The duration of exposure is directly correlated to the symptoms.
While most of these documented cases are seen primarily in adults, most likely because they have been around the chemical for a much longer time period, probably most of their lives. The question is what effect is this having on the kids that grow up going to the pool or even have one in their back yard? Research has not yet been done on this exact topic so it is unknown. But let’s consider what we do know. We know that when adults showing respiratory symptoms are removed from the pool environment for a prolonged time period they start to improve on their own with no medication. We also know that the chemicals being produced by the reaction of chlorine and organics are not safe for humans. We know some kids are naturally allergic to chlorine and break out in rashes on exposure.
No this is not scientific evidence but is worth a thought. Maybe kid’s time in the pool should be limited to a few hours per day and week. And if your children already have asthma it may be a good idea to forgo a chlorinated pool altogether and consider either joining one that uses salt water to keep it clean or just get a kiddie pool for your back yard that you can fill with clean water from your hose, no chemicals needed. A kiddie pool for the backyard is the best bet if your kids have sensitive skin. Kids with sensitive skin could even encounter problems with salt water filled pools.