Medicines: chemicals in swimming pools an underestimated health hazard

Sun cream, perspiration and urine react to the chemicals in the pool water
Especially in the summer, many people love to swim in swimming pools to cool down and relax. However, swimming in a pool could create serious risks to our health. Researchers have now discovered that many chemicals contained in swimming pools represent a risk to our health.

Scientists have now discovered that the chemicals in swimming pools present a significant risk to our health. Normally these chemicals simply keep the water clean. Chemicals like chlorine react in the water with suncream, sweat and urine. The experts of the American Chemical Society now published a report on the results of their study.

Always summer, there are many people in public swimming pools or private pools. By swimming, we cool off and can even exercise some physical activity. This helps us stay fit and even lowers the likelihood of some types of cancer. However, there is a danger from our swimming pools, because the chemicals contained in them can harm our health.(Photo: Monkey Business / fotolia.com) Always summer, there are many people in public swimming pools or private pools. By swimming, we cool off and can even exercise some physical activity. This helps us stay fit and even lowers the likelihood of some types of cancer. However, there is a danger from our swimming pools, because the chemicals contained in them can harm our health.(Image: MonkeyBusiness / fotolia.com)

Water in swimming pools contains more than 100 chemical by-products
The experts from the American Chemical Society are now investigating the dangers posed by chemicals for cleaning water in swimming pools. They can cause harmful reactions when they react with sun cream, sweat or urine in the water, the authors explain.

The scientists studied both private and public swimming pools and whirlpools. They tested the water from occasionally used, but also from intensively used pools. The doctors found a total of more than 100 chemical by-products in the swimming pools. These have resulted from the use of disinfectants, which are normally used to keep the water clean, the researchers add.

Water in pools partly strongly genetically modified
The water of our swimming pools is partly very strongly contaminated with chemical by-products. The samples of water in pools and whirlpools partly showed a 2.4 to 4.1-fold stronger mutagenic effect compared to the tap water originally used for filling, the experts explain. It was clear that frequently used pools contained more water that altered their genetic make-up and also had more chemical by-products, the authors add.

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Experts claim that bathers can reduce the number of harmful chemicals through frequent cleaning and regular water changes. Swimmers could avoid health risks by carefully showering before jumping into the water of the swimming pool, the researchers say.

by-products from chemicals can cause genetic damage
The current study investigated how chemicals from disinfectants react with the water in pools. Furthermore the effects of these chemicals on the bacteria in the water were observed, explained the authors. However, the exact effects are still unclear and it is not known how long people have to be exposed to the chemicals and bacteria in order to experience the negative effects.

People now need to avoid swimming pools or thermal baths, as swimming is a good way to keep active even in the upper age. Such active recreational activities can even reduce the risk of different types of cancer, the medical experts explain.

However, other studies have already shown that chemicals for cleaning swimming pools can pose a serious threat to unsuspecting swimmers. One of the studies analyzed the relationship between the chemicals in the basin water and diseases of the airways, such as asthma, say the scientists. Another researcher has already succeeded in proving in a laboratory that by-products of disinfectant chemicals in swimming pools can cause genetic damage, the experts add.(as)

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