Are chlorinated council pools safe?
What does safe mean?
One of the Gold Coast’s leading Sports Chiropractors Dr Keith Maitland is questioning the health of our chlorinated pools. He was the first Chiropractor appointed by the Australian Swim Team and his patients have read like a who’s who of Australian Sport.
We know that chlorine is a toxic substance, it kills bacteria, viruses and microbes in the water which it is meant to do. Unfortunately, chlorine doesn’t discriminate, it also kills good bacteria and microbes in and on the human body as well. Having a degree in Industrial Chemistry this was of great interest to me.
Does it really matter if we’re killing off good bacteria in our body, and will it cause long-term health issues for the swimmer?
It depends on how much time a person spends swimming and how sensitive they are to chemicals. Many patients have found chlorine too harsh on their bodies and as a result no longer swim in in public pools, which is a shame as swimming provides great exercise.
“The health benefits of swimming must be weighed against the risks of chemical exposure”1
When the chlorine is working toxic compounds are created by things that we secrete as the swimmer, and these are often more harmful than the chlorine itself.
So, what can we do immediately to lessen the harmful effects of these toxic substances in pools?
- Provide hot open-air showers right next to the pool so each swimmer can be cleaner before they enter the pool.
- Provide signage that states ‘Do not urinate in the pool’ and provide close and easily accessible bathrooms to encourage people to go to the bathroom.
- Make sure you’re keeping your body healthy by detoxing it regularly with antioxidants.
- If you get the opportunity between laps, get your head right above the water extend your chin up so you are taking a breath of clean air.
- Practice breathing when you are resting between laps; in through your mouth and out through your nose.
- If you’ve been swimming a lot in chlorinated water and you have chronic health or mood problems, get yourself checked for chemical toxicities.
I challenge the council.
The Gold Coast is the premier place in the world for swimming so let’s investigate new healthier ways of keeping our pools clean. I will give you my ideas on this in upcoming blogs.
A chiropractor, life coach, kinesiologist and pet chiropractor on the Gold Coast that cares
As a chiropractor, life coach, kinesiologist and pet chiropractor, my aim is to get everyone to live a happy and healthy life. Knowledge is power and arming you with the right information is the best way to help with making good decisions for you and your family. If you want to discuss your health further call 07 5598 3544 on the Gold Coast today.
1.Lubick.N.”Swimming in Chlorine by products” Enviro Sc Technol,2017:41:6634(PubMed)
2.Jiang.Hua.Li et al “Health Effects from Swimming training in Chlorinated Pools and the Corresponding Metabolic Stress Pathways” Plos One