Chlorinated Pools, Your Child and Allergies

October 1, 2009 at 10:40 pm | Posted in Chlorine-Alternatives, Health Risks of Chlorinated Pools, Pool Chemistry | Leave a comment
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Chlorinated pools--worse than second-hand cigarette smoke????

Chlorinated pools--worse than second-hand cigarette smoke????

I’m glad that chlorine has saved many folks from around the world from water-born infectious diseases.  But, after being around chlorine for 39-too many years, I’m allergic to it. Ask my wife what happens when she tosses some bleach in with her laundry.  It’s not pretty. The sheets and towels are white, and so am I–pale white from a chlorine-allergy dotted with lovely red spots up and down my body.   This is one of the reasons why I think the Riptide Pool Disinfection System (TM) www.riptidealchemy.com  is the all-that for pool sanitization.  I can even show that it’s excellent for commercial pools too. 

But this is not about my allergy, this is some recently released news about chlorinated pools and childhood allergies.  Read on:

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — Swimming in an outdoor or indoor chlorinated pool has more impact than secondhand smoke in increasing the chances that a child susceptible to asthma and allergies will develop those problems, according to a new study, Reuters Health reported September 15.

 

Dr. Alfred Bernard, a toxicologist at the Catholic University of Louvain in Brussels, told Reuters Health, “These new data clearly show that by irritating the airways of swimmers, chlorination products in water and air of swimming pools exert a strong additive effect on the development of asthma and respiratory allergies such as hay fever and allergic rhinitis.”

 

Bernard added, “The impact of these chemicals on the respiratory health of children and adolescents appears to be much more important — at least by a factor of five — than that associated with secondhand smoke.”

 

The researchers found that the risk of asthma and allergy was not influenced by swimming in pools sanitized with a concentration of copper and silver and that children without allergic tendencies were not at increased risk of developing allergies in those pools.

 

The researchers said the current findings “reinforce” the need for further study on the issue and to enforce regulations concerning the levels of these chemicals in water and air of swimming pools, Reuters Health reported.

 

 

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EWWWW, That Smell. That Chlorine Smell.

April 15, 2009 at 6:12 pm | Posted in Pool Chemistry | Leave a comment
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Roseanne from Kansas City, Mo,  was apparently appalled by my last post–the one about peeing in the pool.  She emailed the following question:

Dear Pool Master.  Your post about urinating in public swimming pools was disgusting.  Who does this? If you didn’t have the scientific proof noted, I would have screamed, “BALDERDASH!”  Every Thursday with a group of senior ladies, we exercise in our indoor public pool.( I’m sure these ladies would never let something slip from their bodies!  They are real ladies.)  And because our public pool has such a strong odor of chlorine, I’m going to assume that this bladder cancer and asthma threat in a urine-infested swimming pool doesn’t hold weight here. 

Please don’t put in a picture of senior ladies in a pool and ask who is the urine-spilling criminal.  Thanks.  Roseanne.

__________________________Roseanne's Swimming Club

Roseanne: The good news is that I could not find any free photos of lovely retired women swimming.  That bad news:  incontinence.  Sorry.

The really really bad news is: “That chlorine smell” is not chlorine that you are smelling.  You are smelling chloramine.  Chloramine is a by products of chlorine for disinfection and ammonia from human sources.  A healthy dose of chloramine will present your with any or all of these symptoms:  cough, eye irritation, and rash.  

If you think I’m full of hooey, go to this website, or just check out the quote I lifted from the site:  http://www.waterandhealth.org/newsletter/cleaning_air.html

 

 

Chronic chloramines and the associated smell and irritation are caused by a variety of factors. Despite what many swimmers assume, the major cause of these problems is too little free chlorine rather than too much! “Free” chlorine, used to kill germs and help prevent the spread of waterborne illnesses, also oxidizes natural waste products from swimmers, including sweat, body oil, urine and other ammonia-nitrogen compounds. If the free chlorine levels are not sufficiently high to oxidize these nitrogenous wastes, the free chlorine combines with them to form noxious cholarmine compounds…

The Fix-It

“Shock” more often with free chlorine. Shock treatment involves raising the free chlorine level to at least 10 times higher than the combined chlorine level.

 Weekly is best for most pools but it may be required even more often for extremely heavily used pools.

 

Use a non-chlorine shocking agent like the monopersulfate-based oxidizers. These reduce chloramines without adding chlorine.

Many pool operators find alternating between traditional chlorine and the non-chlorine shocking agents works best.

 

You get the point, and the writer of the above link is dead-on with the reason why that “chlorine-smell” is a baaaaaad mamma-jamma, Momma. 

Gee, if public pools could use my chlorine-free disinfection system, this chloramine  business would so not relate.  But that’s just another blatant self-promotion.  If you are curious, check it out at www.riptidealchemy.com.

BTW, just got in some great questions about spa repairs and leaking motors.  I’ll get those answers up ASAP.

 

Spa is Not Hot Enough, and Ross & Carlos are Coughing & Itching. Plus No Pool Chlorine.

February 5, 2009 at 8:51 pm | Posted in Hot Tub Chemistry, Pool Chemistry | Leave a comment
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Here are a few questions I was recently asked about spas and pools:

Question.  My spa won’t get any hotter than 105 degrees.  It’s not hot enough.  The company I bought it from refuses to adjust the thermostat to make it reach 108 degrees.  I’m very disappointed.

Mary in New Mexico

 Answer.  Mary, your spa dealer has done you a favor by not adjusting the thermostat.  Here’s why:  As a consumer protection, hot tub safety experts have determined that water temp over 105 degrees is dangerous.  It raises your blood pressure, and could cause you to faint in the hot tub.  That’s not a pretty picture. Following the inevitable wrongful death lawsuits that would likely (or have been) filed against spa manufacturers, the industry has set the 105-degree standard.

Personally, I’d recommend 102 to 104 degrees as optimum water temperature so that you can comfortably enjoy your hot tub’s hydrotherapeutic features for a longer length of time. 

Question. Why do I cough when I turn the jets on my spa?  Ross in Nevada.

Answer.  Ross, when was the last time you changed your hot tub’s water or checked the full range of your hot tub’s chemistry?  If you have to pause to answer this question, that’s the red flag.  This tells me that your chemistry or total dissolved solids (TDS) is off the charts. 

First check the TDS.  You probably don’t have a meter for this, so take at least 8 ounces of your spa’s water to your local pool store and ask for the TDS test.  If the TDS reads over 1500 ppm, dump your water and start all over again.

If your TDS is below 1200-1500 ppms, then check your total alkalinity and pH.  Get your total alkalinity to 80-120 ppm.  Then bring your pH to 7.2-7.6 ppm.  Also OXIDIZE (‘shock’) your water.

Next, Ross, enjoy a good long soak with lots of jets and no coughing.

Question.  Why does my skin itch after being in the hot tub?  Carlos in Chicago.

Answer.  Carlos, there are several reasons why your skin itches after a hot tub soak.  1) dirty filter, 2)chemistry imbalance, 3) old water (high TDS), 4) too much disinfectant, 5) too long of a time in the hot tub, and 6) you may just have sensitive skin.

So, troubleshoot the cause by running thru this list.  Let me know what happens.

 Finally, a pool question from Marsha in Phoenix:  “Why am I adding chlorine every couple of days and still getting a low chlorine reading?”

Answer.  Marsha, Marsha, Marsha, first of all, you are in Phoenix.  It’s hot there.  UV is chlorine’s worst enemy.  You can buffer that UV action by testing your chlorine-stabilizer reading (cyanuric acid).  This keeps UV from breaking down the chlorine.  You want between 40-50 ppm of stabilizer.

When the weather's hot and your pool is heavily used, check your chlorine readings more often. You can also find non-chlorine alternatives. Check out www.riptidealchemy.com

When the weather's hot and your pool is heavily used, check your chlorine readings more often. You can also find non-chlorine alternatives. Check out http://www.riptidealchemy.com

Also what kind of chlorine do you use?  If it’s liquid chlorine, it is about 6 to 8-percent available chlorine.  (How do you spell weak chlorine??)  Liquid chlorine is also without added stabilizer.  I’d recommend “stabilized chlorine” (with cyanuric acid) as well as, the available chlorine ranges between 90 to 100-percent available chlorine.  This will make your pool, test kit, and YOU much happier.

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