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Swimming In Chlorinated Water – Should You Be Worried?

worried about chlorine

Swimming In Chlorinated Water – Should You Be Worried?

It’s summertime, so you + the kiddos are swimming more than usual! I’ve gotten questions + concerns about being exposed to so much chlorine – is swimming in chlorinated water something you should be worried about?

Let’s take a look into the chlorine in the pool – chlorine is used for a disinfecting agent in the water. Because let’s be real, there are public pools and many people are coming + going throughout the day. Ick. We don’t want to swim in bacteria-infested water.

Studies have always been inconsistent with studying if chlorine in pool water was safe. You’ll find studies saying, “YES! It’s safe” and others that find a link between increased risk of asthma and allergies with people who swim in chlorine pools more often, especially competitive swimmers. In a study that was done with rats showed that chlorine irritation was mostly in the skin + eyes of the rats, but the liver could possibly be impacted by chlorine byproducts.

Is there anything you can do to help reduce any health risks from always swimming in chlorinated water?

If you have the option, always opt for swimming at outdoor pools versus indoor pools. A study stated that indoor pools (because ventilation is not as good as outside) can have more chemical byproducts,

Evidence of genotoxic effects were seen in 49 healthy adults after they swam for 40 minutes in the chlorinated pool. Specifically, researchers found increases in two genotoxicity biomarkers relative to the concentration of the most common types of DBPs in exhaled breath, which were used as a measure of the swimmers’ exposures. The biomarkers that increased were micronuclei in blood lymphocytes, which have been associated with cancer risk in healthy subjects, and urine mutagenicity, which is a biomarker of exposure to genotoxic agents.

Detailed measurements were also made of the most common exhaled DBPs (trihalomethanes) in air around the pool and in exhaled breath of the swimmers before and after swimming. Researchers measured several biomarkers of respiratory effects after swimming and found changes in only one — a slight increase in serum CC16, which suggests an increase in lung epithelium permeability. This result was explained by the effects of exercise itself as well as exposure to DBPs. Further research is needed to sort out the clinical relevance of this acute change, the researchers stated.

So, if you can, always opt for an outdoor pool.

Another thing that you can do after swimming is taking a shower + in your shower, use a water filter. This way you can shower afterwards without introducing your body to more chlorinated water. The water filter that I linked up helps take out chlorine, heavy metals, pesticides, and more. If you are a bath person, you can get this ball filter to attach to your facet to reduce the chlorine and heavy metals.

One thing that we personally can’t wait to get is a whole house water filter, but that is pretty costly, even though it’s worth it. We will be working our way up to that eventually. But right now, these filters can do the job.

Various body products (lotions, fragrances, etc) can actually contribute to making these byproducts when the chlorine mixes with it. So, try to take a quick shower before hopping in the pool. Also, avoid peeing in the pool (I mean do I have to say this? LOL), as that can contribute to more chemical byproducts.

So, should you be freaking out when you want to swim in a pool? NO. We do need a strong disinfectant for pools because we don’t want to be swimming in a water full of bacteria.

BUT, doing those little things I’ve stated above can help your health. Most of us aren’t just hanging out in a pool 24 hours in the day. If there is anything you should be focused on, it’s the water quality in your house (where we are more!).

Implement those little practices + continue with your swimming, little fishy, even swimming in chlorinated water!

Avatar for Lahana Vigliano
Lahana Vigliano

Lahana Vigliano is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and CEO of Nuvitru Wellness. She has her Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition Science and Masters Degree in Nutrition Science and Functional Medicine. She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in Clinical Nutrition. Lahana and her team help support women who struggle with weight loss, hormonal imbalances, digestive issues, chronic fatigue, and many other lingering issues that leaves women not feeling their best. She uses food as medicine, as well as herbs and supplements when needed, to support her clients. She looks at the whole body holistically making sure women are understanding how nutrition, sleep, stress, and their environment impact their health. Connect with her on Facebook + Instagram (@nuvitruwellness).