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.
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!