A lazy day at the community pool is one where we can breathe easy, right? Not so much. 40 people were sickened in Antioch, Calif. when they ingested over-chlorinated water. The solution’s active ingredient, sodium hypochlorite, can be toxic in high concentrations—especially to children. This unfortunate event begs the question: How toxic is chlorine, anyway? Experts offer a range of opinions but most seem to suggest that a saltwater pool is preferable to a chlorinated one. If you must swim in water treated with chlorine, there are steps you can take to lessen potentially toxic exposure. For example, bathe before entering the water, as skin cells and personal care products can react with chemicals and produce even more dangerous compounds. Also, shower with soap immediately after swimming to remove any residue instead of letting it dry on the surface of skin. And consider wearing a mask or goggles if you plan to open your eyes underwater. Have you or your kids ever been sickened by pool water? What steps do you take to minimize risks? Let us know in the comments.
Don't Drink the Water: Chlorinated Pools Can Be Dangerous
February 9, 2017