Have you ever wondered why your eyes hurt or why you have a cough after swimming at an indoor pool? We all assume that it’s from too much chlorine in the pool but that is false!
If the pool staff doesn’t regularly test and monitor both the air and water indoors, the environment becomes very toxic and unsafe to everyone in the building. Water is an essential ingredient for all life as we know it, and unfortunately that means that many different organisms thrive in untreated pool water.
Untreated pool water rapidly deteriorates and cause many irritants to all users and employees; such as stinging eyes, nasal irritation, coughing, wheezing, e-coli, guardia, and asthma. These toxins (by products) are created when chlorine binds with sweat, urine and other wastes from swimmers. As the concentration increases in the water, these toxins then move into the surrounding air. Without enough fresh air flow over the water, the pool & air will become saturated with these toxins.
If you or your child plans on using an indoor pool, it’s a very good idea to shower with soap before you enter the water and after. With children you should check often if they need to use the bathroom and never change your child’s diaper on the pool side.
The most common disinfectant used in pools is Chlorine and is available as a pure gas, mixed in a granular powder or liquid form. Chlorine is an odorless gas but the chloramines’ compounds resulting from its interaction with ammonia or organic contaminants have the strong odor typically associated with chlorinated pools.
This is why it’s so important to test the air & water at indoor pools. Some indoor pools will use special UV ultra violet light or ozone for treatments in addition to chlorine disinfection to improve air & water quality. Most pools will monitor all levels for any chemical used to treat & maintain toxins to ensure the health and safety for all users and employees. Most indoor pools will have a ventilation system in place; the key is to make sure there is lots of fresh air flow into the pool areas. In order to monitor the ventilation, pools will install fixed gas detectors to monitor ammonia, chlorine and / or ozone depending what is used as a treatment.
For suggestions on fixed gas detectors, please visit www.critical-environment.com.
Written by: Ambur Vilac & Teresa Kouch
Barlowe, Barrett. “What Are the Dangers of Indoor Swimming Pools?” Livestrong.com. 14 June 2011. Web. 06 March 2012. <http://www.livestrong.com/article/258007-what-are-the-dangers-of-indoor-swimming-pools/#ixzz1ekIDtD2Z>.
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“Irritants (Chloramines) & Indoor Pool Air Quality.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 12 April 2010. Web. 06 March 2012. <http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/pools/irritants-indoor-pool-air-quality.html>.
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