High Chlorine in Pool Causing Problems?

High Chlorine in Pool Causing Problems?

Post by Don Overt » Tue, 25 Jan 1994 13:55:54


My daughter is a high school swimmer who is experiencing lung
congestion.  She is having a hard time taking a full breath.  She has
complained, along with other swimmers about the burn of the chlorine in
the pool.  Apparently the chlorine content of the water is very high.  
I've heard that because a swimmer is picking up everything they breathe
within 6 inches of the level of water in the pool, that they may be
getting "less than pure" air.  I also heard that at some university
pools, the University of Texas for one, they do not use chlorine.

Does anyone have any more information on this?  Should I be concerned
about high levels of chlorine in the pool?  Are there guidelines?


 
 
 

High Chlorine in Pool Causing Problems?

Post by #ifdef LI » Tue, 25 Jan 1994 14:55:40

Quote:

>My daughter is a high school swimmer who is experiencing lung
>congestion.  She is having a hard time taking a full breath.  She has
>complained, along with other swimmers about the burn of the chlorine in
>the pool.  Apparently the chlorine content of the water is very high.  

I have other problems with chlorinated pools. I swam 3-5 times a week until
last December. I had to stop swimming because of serious dry skin and skin
irritation. After a month away from the pool, all the skin problems are gone.
I also experienced breathing problem in shallow pool. My conclusion was-
the deeper the better. I felt most comfortable at deep end of a pool ( around
25 feet). I guess chlorine chemical is heavier than water so it tends to
concentrate on the bottom of a pool. If the water is shallow, there may be
more chlorine on the surface than deep water.

 
 
 

High Chlorine in Pool Causing Problems?

Post by Laura Starit » Wed, 26 Jan 1994 02:13:04

I've swam competitively for 10 years outdoors in California before swimming
indoors in college.  Chlorine problems only occur, in my experience,
indoors because the chemicals are trapped inside and become very
concentrated.  Many swimmers on my team at Swarthmore College (PA) have
developed asthma due to the chlorine concentration.  Wheezing is a very
common symptom, as well as being very congested.  There are also many
swimmers on the team that have skin irritation (dry, itchy, possibly
turning into an inflamed rash).  My dermatologist told me that this was due
more to the fact that we are in the water for such long periods of time,
and it is dry outside, adding to the dryness of our skin.  She recommended
cortisone creme, and after the skin irritation subsides to always apply
lotion after swimming to keep moisture inside the skin.  I've kind of taken
these problems as something that are hard to change, some people are simply
more sensitive than others, but chlorine is a necessary evil.  We're
working on getting better air circulation in our pool, because the college
has admitted that it was below acceptable standards (isn't it nice it's
still OK for us to train!)  Good luck!
                                                                                                                                                                        Marcie Pullman, Swarthmore College

 
 
 

High Chlorine in Pool Causing Problems?

Post by Aaron Lu » Wed, 26 Jan 1994 03:31:10

Quote:

>My daughter is a high school swimmer who is experiencing lung
>congestion.  She is having a hard time taking a full breath.

Yup...chlorine will do it alright...I'd make a complaint to the
people responsible for pool maintenance.  If strong enough, it'll
burn right down the throat.  

There was one day in my high-school years that the chlorine was so
damn strong that my blue nylon suit turned pinkish within an
half-an-hour.  Needless to say, my throat was burning and was forced
to leave the pool regardless of what the coach said.

aaron

 
 
 

High Chlorine in Pool Causing Problems?

Post by James G. Ack » Wed, 26 Jan 1994 05:03:07

: My daughter is a high school swimmer who is experiencing lung
: congestion.  She is having a hard time taking a full breath.  She has
: complained, along with other swimmers about the burn of the chlorine in
: the pool.  Apparently the chlorine content of the water is very high.  
: I've heard that because a swimmer is picking up everything they breathe
: within 6 inches of the level of water in the pool, that they may be
: getting "less than pure" air.  I also heard that at some university
: pools, the University of Texas for one, they do not use chlorine.
:
: Does anyone have any more information on this?  Should I be concerned
: about high levels of chlorine in the pool?  Are there guidelines?

        I replied to Don in email, but I thought I'd reiterate
something I posted many months ago on this same subject.

        An irritating pool atmosphere is most commonly caused by a lack
of chlorine and an unbalanced pH, which leads to the formation of
irritating compounds (chlor- and nitros- amines).  This CAN be corrected:
the procedure is to "shock" the pool with higher levels of chlorine.
Good pool maintenance workers know how to do this.  Very commonly, an
irritating atmosphere is associated with cloudy waters, poor circulation
(in the WATER), and is somewhat overused.

        If the pool atmosphere is irritating your lungs while training,
find out who's in charge of the pool maintenance system and _get them to
fix it_.

===============================================
|  James G. Acker                             |

===============================================
All comments are the personal opinion of the writer
and do not constitute policy and/or opinion of government
or corporate entities.

 
 
 

High Chlorine in Pool Causing Problems?

Post by Mark Warr » Wed, 26 Jan 1994 11:12:27

There were several times while I was a high-school swimmer that our
coach would cancel practice because he measured the water and found
the chlorine content too high. This was before any of the swimmers
started complaining.  If it's burning her lungs, I would have
*serious* concerns, after all, chlorine is a deadly gas.

As for non-chlorine systems, yes, they exist, are much nicer than
chlorine, and becoming more popular. They don't dry out your skin as
much nor do they bleach things as much. Bromine systems are now
available for home pools, and I know of a couple of large pools that
use an electric purification system (I think they run very high
currents through the water to kill the bacteria, of course, the
electricity is keep well insulated ).

Corrections?

Mark

--
___________________________________________________________________________

 
 
 

High Chlorine in Pool Causing Problems?

Post by Pierre Kennepo » Wed, 26 Jan 1994 13:49:30


Quote:

>There were several times while I was a high-school swimmer that our
>coach would cancel practice because he measured the water and found
>the chlorine content too high. This was before any of the swimmers
>started complaining.  If it's burning her lungs, I would have
>*serious* concerns, after all, chlorine is a deadly gas.

Just a little note here.  Chlorine gas is generally NOT used as a pool
oxidizer.  Most 'chlorinated' pools function on systems using
hypochlorites or similar oxidizers.

Quote:
>As for non-chlorine systems, yes, they exist, are much nicer than
>chlorine, and becoming more popular. They don't dry out your skin as
>much nor do they bleach things as much. Bromine systems are now
>available for home pools, and I know of a couple of large pools that
>use an electric purification system (I think they run very high
>currents through the water to kill the bacteria, of course, the
>electricity is keep well insulated ).

A little note on alternative oxidizers...  both bromine and ozone can
be used effectively in commercial and home pools, but they are usually
used in conjunction with chlorine-based products to maintain the
proper levels of active oxidizer in the water.  This electric
purification system sounds a little weird... it seems to me that
running high currents through water is a rather dangerous proposition,
and I have a little trouble figuring out how you could insulate the
water from the pool!!!  (Is it possible that you are referring to
ozone purification or maybe electrochemical oxidation (NOT with high
currents!).

Quote:
>Mark
>--
>___________________________________________________________________________


Pierre

---
Pierre Kennepohl



 
 
 

High Chlorine in Pool Causing Problems?

Post by St » Thu, 27 Jan 1994 02:59:00


Quote:
com (Mark Warren) writes:
>available for home pools, and I know of a couple of large pools that
>use an electric purification system (I think they run very high
>currents through the water to kill the bacteria, of course, the
>electricity is keep well insulated ).

Actually, ozone is generally produced by running electricity through air,
bonding the O2 into O3 (ozone).  It's what makes the fresh smell after a
thunderstorm.  If you know of a pool with an electrical system, it's
probably really using ozone.

--Ste.

----
If your ship hasn't come in, swim out to it!

 
 
 

High Chlorine in Pool Causing Problems?

Post by Brian R. Hu » Thu, 27 Jan 1994 08:46:50


Quote:
>    An irritating pool atmosphere is most commonly caused by a lack
>of chlorine and an unbalanced pH, which leads to the formation of
>irritating compounds (chlor- and nitros- amines).  This CAN be corrected:
>the procedure is to "shock" the pool with higher levels of chlorine.
>Good pool maintenance workers know how to do this.  Very commonly, an
>irritating atmosphere is associated with cloudy waters, poor circulation
>(in the WATER), and is somewhat overused.

Right, in my experience most if not all swimming pool water and air
quality problems are not simply "too much chlorine", though
overchlorination can contribute to other problems, such as bad pH.
Many indoor pools are simply not ventilated well enough, and air
quality problems may be beyond the pool manager's control.  Unbalanced
pH is more of an irritant than high chlorine, or so I'm told; pH is
one of the most basic things for a manager to keep under control, but
it's not always easy.  And, as mentioned above, there are other
chemical irritants which naturally build up in pool water and can be
controlled by periodically "superchlorinating".

Anyway, by all means if you're having a problem describe your symptoms
to the manager.  In the case of respiratory difficulties I might be
inclined to also go over the manager's head to whomever might be able
to provide better ventilation for the pool building (probably a long
shot though...)

--
Brian R. Hunt

 
 
 

High Chlorine in Pool Causing Problems?

Post by Brian R. Hu » Fri, 28 Jan 1994 13:21:05

Quote:



>>started complaining.  If it's burning her lungs, I would have
>>*serious* concerns, after all, chlorine is a deadly gas.
>Just a little note here.  Chlorine gas is generally NOT used as a pool
>oxidizer.  Most 'chlorinated' pools function on systems using
>hypochlorites or similar oxidizers.

Yes, in the water the chlorine is for the most part in the form of
hypochlorite ions (OCl-), which is also the active ingredient in
household bleach.  However I'd imagine there will always be some
chlorine gas hovering over the surface of the water, not enough to be
a problem in an outdoor pool unless the chlorine level is ridiculously
high, but in a poorly ventilated indoor pool it can build up.

--
Brian R. Hunt

 
 
 

High Chlorine in Pool Causing Problems?

Post by Greg Shalet » Sat, 29 Jan 1994 10:07:28


Quote:
>As a chemical engineer, I need to ask:  Has anyone tried ozone?
>It is much more reactive than chlorine, but significantly safer.
>It would probably be very expensive though.

I our pool, we use a form of Bromine.  It is much better than Chlorine.
I remember when we used Chlorine, everybody was coughing and ***.  This
problem disapeared with the arrival of Bromine.
--

Greg Shalette

 
 
 

High Chlorine in Pool Causing Problems?

Post by Jeff Holm » Sat, 29 Jan 1994 02:48:44

As a chemical engineer, I need to ask:  Has anyone tried ozone?
It is much more reactive than chlorine, but significantly safer.
It would probably be very expensive though.

 
 
 

High Chlorine in Pool Causing Problems?

Post by James G. Ack » Wed, 02 Feb 1994 00:18:23

: >As a chemical engineer, I need to ask:  Has anyone tried ozone?
: >It is much more reactive than chlorine, but significantly safer.
: >It would probably be very expensive though.
:
:
: I'm sure we've had this thread before. There were a couple of comprehensive
: answers from pool maintainers.

If memory serves me then it is Ozone on the just over the surface of the water
: that causes the uncontrollable coughing and chest pain associated with badly
: conditioned pool water.

        Not exactly.  Ozone over the surface of the water might be a little
irritating, but the virtue of ozonolysis is that the ozone acts _in
the water_ to kill the bacteria, and then just breaks down into regular
old oxygen.  Having oxygen just over the surface of the water has actually
been found to be beneficial to swimming success.  :-)
        The commonest irritants are chlorine-nitrogen compounds, caused
by a combination of incorrect pH and _low_ chlorine levels.  Inhaling
these irritates the lungs.

: In the UK where most pools used for training are getting old and are indoors
: its quite a common problem. Having a large squad thrashing up and down seems
: to compound the problems.

        The number of users of a pool increases the "bather load" on
the filtration/anti-bacterial system.  If chlorine delivery is inadequate,
the symptoms of a chemically unbalanced pool will develop quickly if there
are a large number of users.

===============================================
|  James G. Acker                             |

===============================================
All comments are the personal opinion of the writer
and do not constitute policy and/or opinion of government
or corporate entities.

 
 
 

High Chlorine in Pool Causing Problems?

Post by Ann Rafal » Wed, 02 Feb 1994 21:31:28


Quote:

> My daughter is a high school swimmer who is experiencing lung
> congestion.  She is having a hard time taking a full breath.  She has
> complained, along with other swimmers about the burn of the chlorine in
> the pool.  Apparently the chlorine content of the water is very high.  
> I've heard that because a swimmer is picking up everything they breathe
> within 6 inches of the level of water in the pool, that they may be
> getting "less than pure" air.  I also heard that at some university
> pools, the University of Texas for one, they do not use chlorine.

> Does anyone have any more information on this?  Should I be concerned
> about high levels of chlorine in the pool?  Are there guidelines?



Don- I am a freshwoman swimmer at Bryn Mawr College and would like to tell
a story about high chlorine levels in pool water.  Last year during the
season, the pool at my high school had such high levels of chemicals that
the hair on our arms fel out, our hair bleached out and we got brown marks
on our teeth.  The school had to call in the NYS Department of Health.
They siad there were no real health problems related to the chlorine.  I
don't but it.  Everyday after practice, even after I tAke a shower I can
still smell the chlorine all over my body.  I mentioned this to my doctor
once and he also told me not to worry.  Oh well, I guess there is really
nothing we can do.  Tel your daughter best of luck with her swimming and if
you find out anything feel free to post me. -Ann Rafalko

 
 
 

High Chlorine in Pool Causing Problems?

Post by Clement K. Y. Chu » Fri, 04 Feb 1994 04:29:14

        I have heard that some places use sodium instead of
chlorine in the pool. I think that it is a great idea, except the
record holders might not like it too much.
        One thing I am not so sure is that how sodium can kill
bacteria like chlorine does? Anyone knows?