Chlorine Poisoning

Chlorine is killing you

Category: Safety

Pool Chlorine: Facts, Uses, and Alternatives

pool chlorine

Pool chlorine creates poison chlorine gas when the chlorinated water evaporates.

What is Chlorine?

Chlorine is considered a powerful disinfecting agent because it efficiently breaks down any organic materials it comes in contact with. In very diluted solutions, chlorine is used to aggressively poison and effectively break down living cells. Water treatment and food surface disinfecting processes often include the use of chlorine or chlorine bleach to initially kill micro-organisms.

Chlorine can also be used to, as it was discovered in the 1700s to do, quickly remove coloring from clothing and other materials. At its elemental form, chlorine is a poison gas, that when mixed with sodium and oxygen, is acidic to the point of poisoning and corroding into nothing even the smallest living organisms it comes in contact with.

Pool Chlorine Uses

Because chlorine is used in very diluted volumes in pools in conjunction with water filtration systems, many experts would argue that diluted levels are sufficient to kill bacteria but minimally corrosive to human tissue. Several problems with this exist, however, as it is deadly if ingested, inhaled, or encountered in concentrated form. Pool chlorine creates poison chlorine gas when the chlorinated water evaporates. Pool chlorine also creates deadly gases when mixed with other pool chemicals or cleaners.

pool chlorine

The biggest problem with using chlorine to treat pool water is you have to be careful to the point of gloves and face masks in handling the material (lest you get it in your eyes and lose your vision), and you have to be exact in how much chlorine you add to a pool every time you use it. You also have to be cautious in ensuring pool filtration is always working, because, in any of these cases, too much chlorine can get in the pool, and it only takes a little bit of the poison gas to kill a person.

Pool Chlorine Alternatives

Several pool chlorine alternatives exist. However, note that almost all pool chlorine alternatives either create chlorine as a byproduct (like saltwater pool systems) or recommend the use of pool chlorine in conjunction with the alternative in the treatment of the pool water. For instance, bromine can be used to treat pool water but is often used in addition to chlorine in treating the pool water. Hydrogen peroxide is also a powerful disinfecting agent that can be used to treat pool water, but chlorine is cheaper and requires at least ten times less of the chemical in a solution per gallon of water (1 part chlorine per million per gallon of water versus 10 to 30 parts hydrogen peroxide per million per gallon of water). The reason most people that recommend chlorine for water treatment do so because it is powerful and cheap. They will also be the first to admit that it is corrosive and toxic, so you should wash it off of you immediately after you come into contact with it.

chlorine free oxygen pools

There are, however, non-toxic non-chlorine pool treatment systems that are safe and healthy alternatives to pool chlorine. Oxygen Pools are chlorine-free pool systems that actually require less maintenance and cost less to own and operate than other pool systems. Chlorine pool systems can even be converted to chlorine free pool systems with Oxygen Pools, Everything you need to convert or get started with an average pool is $399, which is less than the cost of one salt cell replacement for a saltwater pool system or a year or two of chlorine/saltwater pool maintenance.

oxygen pools

Chlorine Gas Poisoning from Pool Chemicals?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agencies such as the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health have released multiple reports such as this one in 1991 of death from chlorine toxicity from mixing chlorine or bleach with other chemicals. In the 1991 report, at least 14 persons died from mixing chlorine bleach with other household cleaners over a span of two years. In 2015, in Orange County, California, a man died from mixing regular amounts of chlorine with other pool cleaners when cleaning a swimming pool. The news headlines read, “Even Small Quantities of Chlorine Pose Danger.” The scary thing is…these reports are not even the half of it.

chlorine gas

Lastly, and possibly the most horrific danger, those who are exposed to and ingest chlorinated water on a regular basis are 93% more likely to get CANCER than those who are not exposed to the chemical.

Death, Skin Damage, or Eye Damage from Exposure to Chlorine Alone

In 2011, the CDC released a list of facts about chlorine and gave detailed warnings about the long-term health hazards of chlorine exposure beyond the hazards of mixing chlorine with other chemicals. In this list, the CDC details that exposure to chlorine, in the eyes or on the skin, produces an acid, and it is this acid that can permanently damage or kill a person. It is potentially deadly for a person to touch, inhale, or swallow chlorine, depending on the level of exposure to the chemical. This begs the question, “How much chlorine exposure is unsafe or potentially deadly?”

chlorine rash

Too Much Chlorine in a Pool

Too much chlorine in a pool will send you to the hospital or kill you in one of three ways. It is dangerous, first of all, because it causes burning of the skin and irritation such as rashes, if left untreated, severe cases can have permanent, lasting effects on one’s skin. Another way that too much chlorine in a pool is dangerous is that it causes chlorine gas to be emitted directly off the evaporating water from the pool. Again, inhaled chlorine gas can kill you. Lastly, and possibly the most horrific danger, those who are exposed to and ingest chlorinated water on a regular basis are 93% more likely to get CANCER than those who are not exposed to the chemical. According to the United States Council of Environmental Quality, chlorine exposure to skin or through ingestion also contributes to a long list of other serious health risks such as heart attacks, liver and kidney failure, asthma, miscarriages in women, low sperm count in men, risk of having a child with spina bifida, and weakened immune system to name a few. So whether you are exposed to chlorine in ingesting the chemical and even skin exposure to the chemical, there are so many easy ways you could go wrong and become ill or even die.

chlorine free oxygen pools

What about a Chlorine-Free Pool?

You may be asking yourself how you can still enjoy swimming pools but want to rid your pool water of the toxic, deadly chlorine. I don’t blame you. You’ll be happy to find out that not only is it infinitely healthier to switch to a chlorine-free pool, but it is actually less expensive and easier to maintain one. If you already have a chlorine pool, you can even convert an existing chlorine or saltwater pool system to a non-chlorine Oxygen Pool system. What’s more is that it is only $399 to convert an average pool to an Oxygen Pool system. That cost is less than it costs to maintain a chlorine pool or even to buy one salt water system replacement cell. So whether you’re installing a pool for the first time or want to make the leap, you can learn more at the link below about switching and the health benefits and ease of maintenance for your very own Oxygen Pool today!

oxygen pools

Chlorine Poisoning: Your Chlorine Pool is Killing You

chlorine poisoning

You may be aware of the negative but non-lethal health risks associated with chlorine swimming pools. These include permanent damage to your eyes, skin, and hair from chlorine exposure from swimming pools and noxious but non-damaging effects such as strong bleach odors and permanent discoloration of clothing. You may have heard of chlorine poisoning and read that this is most commonly diagnosed as a result of mixing household cleaners. What you may not know, however, is that the chlorine you put in your swimming pool is not keeping you safe from bacteria, it poses a serious risk of killing you via chlorine poisoning or even explosion.

Decker and Koch (1978) in an article entitled Chlorine Poisoning at the Swimming Pool: An Overlooked Hazard, as well as many others over 70 years, have documented this seemingly blatant hazard.

Chlorine: A Chemical Weapon, a Toxic Gas, an Explosive, and Actual Poison

Chlorine is a toxic chemical. It is so deadly, it is classified as a chemical weapon, a choking hazard, and an explosive material. Read any bottle of chlorine or pool shock treatment containing the chemical and you will find all kinds of warnings from the state department of health or surgeon general to handle with care and that mixing or ingesting the material can kill you. The negative health effects of chlorine are widely documented in scientific journals as well. Do an internet search on chlorine poisoning and you will find endless scholarly and popular articles on The dangers of chlorine poisoning over the past 70 years!

Over 70 Years of Evidence that Chlorine is Deadly

This is certainly not news, we should all have long known that swimming in something that will kill you if you drink it is not safe for us or our children. Decker and Koch (1978) in an article entitled Chlorine Poisoning at the Swimming Pool: An Overlooked Hazard, as well as many others over 70 years, have documented this seemingly blatant hazard. But it doesn’t get better, it gets worse. Instead of trying to make swimming pools safer by using chlorine alternatives, we only have a constantly growing body of evidence that chlorine pools are an idiotic idea and we should have long moved past pool chemicals to safe alternatives such as Oxygen Pools. In 2008, Martinez and Long compiled an Explosion Risk from Swimming Pool Chlorinators and Review of Chlorine Toxicity. If you didn’t already have enough to be scared about from losing your vision from chlorine shock treatment or dying from ingested chlorine, you could die in a number of other ways from simply mishandling the toxic material.

oxygen pools chlorine free


For many years, you may have intuited or suspected what researchers in clinical toxicology have long known – that chlorine is unsafe to swim in (even in small amounts) because it is toxic not only if ingested, but from mere exposure to skin and eyes. If so, you couldn’t be more right. But it gets worse. Not only are chlorine swimming pools filled with chlorine, most alternatives to chlorine pools such as saltwater pools, minerally treated pools, UV light treated pools, and the others you may read about still get filled with chlorine because it is a cheap treatment method to keep algae and bacteria from growing in the pool water. That being said, don’t lose hope. In this age of technology, there are completely chlorine-free swimming pool systems. It gets better. You will be delighted to know that non-chlorine pools are actually more affordable to own and easier to maintain than chlorine pools! You may be asking yourself, “How can this be?” or “Then why doesn’t everyone switch to non-chlorine pools?” Great questions. I don’t know. You can even convert your existing chlorine pool or saltwater pool to an Oxygen Pool for less than the cost of two years of maintenance or a single salt system replacement. Everything you need to switch or get started is about $399 for an average pool. So rather than ponder these questions any more, you can unburden yourself with the cares of a chlorine death and go chlorine-free!

Powered by WordPress &