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How unhealthy are chlorinated pools?

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  • How unhealthy are chlorinated pools?

    I went swimming on Sunday in a chlorinated pool. I did the same the Sunday before. Both times, my chest hurt afterwards. I think it's the chlorine that irritates my lungs. I have read that chlorine is in the air over the pool, and it causes actual lung damage. I have noticed this feeling before after swimming in some pools. Other pools seem to trigger it less, perhaps because they monitor the chlorine more carefully.

    It doesn't seem very primal to swim in a chemical soup.

  • #2
    I can tell you that the people who swim at my Y on a regular basis for years look like dessicated prunes.

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    • #3
      I wonder about this myself since swimming is one of my favorite activities.

      Moar data would be welcome.

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      • #4
        I really want to go swimming but the whole chlorine thing puts me off :/
        Bunny trainer extraordinaire!

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        • #5
          The Y in my city has a saltwater pool.
          In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

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          • #6
            lucky you!

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            • #7
              I love swimming but I gave up my Y membership mainly because the pool was so heavily chlorinated it was in the air like a cloud over the water. I don't have any real data about its health effects but I know it will trash the elastic in a swimsuit rather quickly leaving it with no snap back. Maybe that is why all those ladies look wrinkled. Maybe it damages skin elasticity as well. Interesting topic for research sometime.

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              • #8
                I know the chlorine cloud of which paleobird speaks. I'm in the pool a lot. It's pretty foul (and the pool I go to is brand new and deluxe, and I still say that). I've seen a scab floating by....
                "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by PixieKitten View Post
                  I really want to go swimming but the whole chlorine thing puts me off :/
                  Try the ocean, a river or a lake?
                  Norak's Primal Journal:
                  2010-07-23: ~255lbs, ~40.0"
                  2011-11-03: ~230lbs, ~35.5"
                  2011-12-07: ~220lbs, ~34.0"

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                  • #10
                    I wonder if some people are just more sensitive to chlorine. I swim all summer in my city's muni pool and it is chlorinated. I don't have any issues. I don't know that I would DARE swim in my local lake (Lake Erie). EEEWWW!!!

                    Carrie

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                    • #11
                      I have a small pool in my backyard, and the Professionals at the pool place said that if you can smell the chlorine, that there is too much chlorine and it is unsafe. A perfectly balanced pool shouldn't smell like chlorine. The problem with large community pools is that there are so many people in and out, no one forces them to pre-shower, so many people are coming in with their lotions, make-up, sweat, etc and changing the ph balance of the pool, so the workers just add more chlorine--I guess the smell makes people think things are more clean--but they're not.
                      Heidi

                      33yo, 5'6", 158lbs, size 10 jeans

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                      • #12
                        Chlorine is one of the most effective water purification chemicals there is. It is far more cost effective than most other methods for maintaining a pool. We house-sat for a neighbor with a pool once and I cannot believe how quickly the entire thing can be taken over by little microscopic nasties, so I have sympathy for those who have this thankless job. However in its gaseous form it can react with the moisture in your lungs and form hydrochloric acid - which is an irritant (chlorine gas was used in WWI against the men in the trenches). And Chlorine evaporates very quickly. If you are sensitive to that - it could definitely be the cause of your issues. See if you can find a non-chlorinated pool for comparison, or consider talking to managment and asking if they can safey reduce the amount of the chlorine.

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