Why Swimming in Chlorinated Water should be avoided

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WhySwimming in Chlorinated Water should be avoided


Chlorineis widely used in disinfecting swimming pool water. However, thedevelopment of disinfection-by-products (DPS) downplays the essenceof chlorination. Reason being, chlorination leads to the developmentof respiratory system dysfunctions and other ailments. However, inspite of the significance of these findings, toxicological studieshave not confirmed their assertions because of the shaky nature oftheir premises. This study explores the adverse side effects ofchlorine on the body. An answer to the issue of the chlorination ofswimming pool water vis-à-vis the development of chronic ailments issought. In essence, the writing seeks an answer to why Swimming inChlorinated Water should be avoided.


Chlorineis used to kill germs in swimming pools and in the water that peopledrink. However, when the water that has chlorine in it mixes with thewaste that the body produces, for instance, urine or sweat, it formstoxic substances called chloramines. When chloramines come intocontact with the eyes, the skin, or the respiratory tract, irritationbecomes inevitable. Many studies, concerning the effect of chlorineon a person’s body, have revealed that chlorine has a fatal effecton the body. However, the results of these studies have not beenaccredited by authoritative bodies because of their inconsistencies.This paper discusses the effects chlorinated swimming pool water onthe health of swimmers. It explores the findings of many publicationswith the intention of bringing the assertions forwarded by manystudies to light.


UWP104F – Dr. Karma Waltonen


Whyswimming in chlorinated water should be avoided

Whatis chlorination?

  • Most common way to disinfect swimming pool water

  • Kills pathogens

  • Not the safest method to clean pools


  • Forms toxic compounds such as disinfection by-products (DBPs)

    • Can cause DNA damage and cancer

  • Affects eyes and skin by the irritants in chlorinated water

  • An increase in risk of developing asthma

  • A type of cancer connected to chlorinated water is liver cancer

    • Trihalomethanes, a by-product of chlorine, are the main contributor to uninhibited cell growth within the colon

Reducethe risks associated with chlorine

  • Limit the swimming time

  • Shower before and after swimming

    • Bath every time after coming out of the pool

  • Avoid contact with eyes and swallowing at all times


  • How does swimming in chlorinated water damage health?

  • How does contact with chlorine in a pool lead to diseases?

  • What can one do to avoid the adverse impact of chlorination?


Dr.Edward Group. &quotToxic Chemical: The Health Dangers Of Chlorine.&quotDr.Group`s Natural Health &amp Organic Living Blog.N.p., 2013. Web. 12 Aug. 2016.

GLOBALHEALING CENTER. &quotHow Does Chlorine In Water Affect My Health?&quot.1 – 4. Web. 12 Aug. 2016.

Li,Jiang-Hua et al. &quotHealth Effects From Swimming Training InChlorinated Pools And The Corresponding Metabolic Stress Pathways.&quotPLOSONE&nbsp10.3(2015): n. pag. Web. 12 Aug. 2016.

Rush,Nancy. &quotChlorine in Pools Shown To Cause Serious HealthProblems.&quot NaturalHealth 365.N.p., 2015. Web. 12 Aug. 2016.

WaterQuality &amp Health Council. &quotThe Truth About Chlorine InSwimming Pools.&quot WaterQuality and Health Council.N.p., 2016. Web. 12 Aug. 2016.

Chlorinationmay be more harmful than beneficial in treating swimming pool water(Li et al.). Although this method of water disinfection is famous forkilling pathogens, disinfection by-products (DBPs) downplays thebenefits of chlorination. DBPs (toxic compounds) have been linked torespiratory system dysfunctions and other ailments by variousepidemiological studies. Nonetheless, the findings revealed by thesestudies have not been established by toxicological publications dueto their inconsistency. Font-Ribera et al. argue that swimming has nodirect correlation with an increased risk of developing allergicsymptoms or asthma in British infants. However, increased lungfunction and respiratory tract symptoms, especially among childrenpredisposed to respiratory conditions, have been associated withswimming, albeit circuitously. Goodman et al. confirmed that a directcorrelation between asthma and swimming only exists among competitiveswimmers. Very few toxicological studies have been made in the areaof health and swimming exposure. Thus, the precise healthconsequences of swimming in chlorinated water and the resultantresponses that occur in people’s bodies are vague.

Swimminghas benefits such as exercise and bonding with friends and family(Rush).However, the downsides of treating water with chlorine downplay thebenefits that swimming accrues to people. Although chlorine freesswimming water from bacteria that can cause allergies, skin rashes,and lung injuries, the chemical effect of chlorine on humans isextensive. The DBPs that remain in the water as a result ofchlorination have been proven to alter people’s DNAs and causecancer. The World Health Organization asserts that these chemicalsgain entry into the body through digestion, inhalation, andabsorption. Swimming increases the probability for all threepossibilities occurring simultaneously. The Centre for DiseaseControl contends that prolonged exposure to chlorine increases aperson’s risk of developing chronic ailments like asthma andrespiratory illnesses. The CDC has also linked the chlorination ofwater to epiglottitis, a fatal inflammatory disorder that affects thewindpipe. Exposure to the gasses that are emitted by chlorineproliferates the possibility for the development of this disease.Also, chlorinated water has been connected to the development of eyeinfections. Water that gets into a person’s eyes, especially whenthis individual swims under the water, can result in significantharm. Swallowing excess water (chlorinated) also leads to kidney orliver ailments thus, increasing the probability of a persondeveloping liver cancer due to the sodium hypochlorite and chemicalsubstances that are present in the water.

Nevertheless,in spite of its numerous downsides when used in treating swimmingpools, chlorine also has numerous advantages. Chlorine sanitizersreduce the risk of developing waterborne diseases like swimmer’sear, diarrhea, and skin infections (Water Quality &amp HealthCouncil). Chlorine has an upper hand over sanitizers such as UV andozone because it keeps working for an extended period after it isadded to water thus, providing a residual degree of protectionagainst harmful agents in the water. In essence, pool managers striveto maintain approximately one and three portions per million. Variousfactors determine the maintenance of chlorine levels within thisrange. The pH of the water, for example, must be between 7.2 and 7.8.Also, the presence of unwanted substances, for instance, urine, bodylotions and oil, and perspiration, which react with chlorine, areconsidered when maintaining the ideal levels of chlorine in thewater. Reason being, these substances contribute to “chlorinedemand.” As a result, irritants known as chloramines are formed.The chloramines, by extension, lead to the development of issues suchas eye irritation. The reaction of chlorine with the impurities thatare present in water, therefore, means that chlorine is available inlimited quantities to kill germs.

Consideringthe above assertions, chlorine is an element that is naturallyoccurring (Dr. Edward Group). It has many uses, from bleaching todisinfecting. Chlorine is very toxic, and, in small quantities, forinstance in gas form, its odor can make one’s breathing labored(GLOBAL HEALING CENTER. 1). In its solid form, it is naturallyoccurring, appearing in the shape of many of the salts that exist onearth. Although many animals need chlorine to survive, there is alimit to the amount of chlorine that the body (human or animal) cantolerate. Thus, chlorine exposure is possible even while one embarkson everyday activities, for example, when taking long baths, sincethe chlorinated water can permeate the body through the nose, eyes,ears or even skin absorption. Chlorine exposure can be realizedthrough eating and drinking, water absorption through the skin, andinhaling the fumes that are formed by chlorine. The before-mentionedmeans that even the individuals who chose not to swim can be exposedto chlorine by simply by the side of the pool and socializing orsunbathing. In fact, non-swimmers have, on a few occasions, testedpositive for high degrees of trichloramine.

Researchindicates that extended exposure to chlorine results in the creationof free radicals in the body. These radicals can be carcinogenic andcause significant damage to body cells (GLOBAL HEALING CENTER. 1).ABelgian study, released in 2003, revealed that trichloramine(irritants) are usually released when chlorinated water reacts withorganic substances such as urine and sweat from humans (GLOBALHEALING CENTER. 2). Trichloramines, by extension, initiate biologicalprocesses that destroy the cellular walls that surround the lungs.Children who get exposed to vast quantities of chlorine are at ahigher risk of suffering asthmatic attacks. In fact, one study showedthat rats that were exposed to chlorine and chloramines grew tumorsin their intestines and kidneys. Chlorine can cause severeirritations and burn skin that is directly exposed to it. It has alsobeen attributed to throat and eye irritation. In fact, the researchteam at the Medical College of Wisconsin confirmed that a linkbetween chlorinated water and cancer exists. Studies reveal thatchlorine is preferred over other safer, more effective ways oftreating water because it is less expensive. The U.S. Council ofEnvironmental Quality asserts that the prevalence rate of canceramong the individuals that consume chlorinated water is 93% higherthan amongst the people who consume water that is not chlorinated.

Evenso, a person may shield himself from the detrimental effects of thetoxic chemicals that are found in swimming pools (Rush). The safestway to defend oneself is to avoid swimming pools entirely. However,if this approach cannot work, a person may opt to institute somemeasures. For example, one may limit the number of times he and hisfamily goes swimming. Avoiding chlorinated swimming pool water canhelp one avoid chlorine-related ailments such as cancer andrespiratory tract infections. Secondly, rinsing water of one`s bodyafter swimming is advisable. Showering before, during, and afterswimming helps reduce the level of toxins on one`s body thus,bringing down the probability of chlorine-related ailments. Lastly,wearing protective eye goggles reduces the amount of water thatpermeates the body through the eyes. This approach can help bringdown the probability of the development of eye infections.Considering the before-mentioned, whichever way one chooses toperceive the chlorine threat, ingesting it is detrimental to one`sbody. Advising family members to avoid ingesting pool water can helpavert the development of adverse effects of chlorinated watersignificantly.

Ina recap of the above discussion, the precise health consequences ofswimming in chlorinated water and the resultant responses that occurin people’s bodies are vague. In essence, Chlorination may be moreharmful than beneficial in treating swimming pool water. Althoughthis technique of water sterilization is widely held for killingpathogens, disinfection by-products (DBPs) tones down the benefits ofchlorination. DBPs (toxic compounds) have been allied to respiratorysystem dysfunctions, in addition to the development of otherailments, by numerous epidemiological readings. However, the resultspublicized by these studies have not been recognized by toxicologicaljournals due to their irregularity. Font-Ribera et al., for instance,argue that swimming has no direct relationship with an amplified riskof developing allergic indications or asthma in British infants.However, increased lung function and respiratory tract indicators,especially among children susceptible to respiratory conditions, havebeen related to swimming, albeit expansively. Goodman et al.established that a direct connection between asthma and swimming onlysubsists among competitive swimmers. Very few toxicologicalinvestigations have been made on the subject of health and swimmingexposure, as discussed above.


Dr.Edward Group. &quotToxic Chemical: The Health Dangers Of Chlorine.&quotDr.Group`s Natural Health &amp Organic Living Blog.N.p., 2013. Web. 12 Aug. 2016.

GLOBALHEALING CENTER. &quotHow Does Chlorine In Water Affect My Health?&quot.1 – 4. Web. 12 Aug. 2016.

Li,Jiang-Hua et al. &quotHealth Effects from Swimming Training InChlorinated Pools And The Corresponding Metabolic Stress Pathways.&quotPLOSONE&nbsp10.3(2015): n. pag. Web. 12 Aug. 2016.

Rush,Nancy. &quotChlorine in Pools Shown To Cause Serious HealthProblems.&quot&nbspNaturalHealth 365.N.p., 2015. Web. 12 Aug. 2016.

WaterQuality &amp Health Council. &quotThe Truth about Chlorine InSwimming Pools.&quot WaterQuality and Health Council.N.p., 2016. Web. 12 Aug. 2016.




Asrequested, I have developed a discussion of a Science Article paper:. In this memo, ananalysis regarding my response to the questions about the strengthsof my paper, the improvements that can be made, my responses tocomments, my self-evaluation, the troubles of the essay, whatprompted me to choose this topic, my workshop group, where theprimary focus of the paper is found, the final check and other notes,is made.

TheStrengths of the Essay

Mywriting, “,&quotdeveloped a strong position on the adverse consequences of thechlorination of water on people`s health. My argument was primarilyabout the negative impact of the chlorination of swimming pool wateron the health of individuals.

Roomfor Improvements

Thepaper would have been more authoritative if I could find more sourcesthat agreed with my premise. Sources that revealed a directassociation between chlorinated water and the development of chronicailments would help me convince my audience that my viewpoint wascorrect more easily and efficiently.

Responseto Instructor Comments

Atthe outset, my paper overly used technical language. However, afterreviewing my instructor`s comments, I realized that, althoughtechnical language was unavoidable on some occasion, it could be usedsparingly. Thus, I revised my paper to make it more readable andenjoyable to the audience.


Ibelieve my writing deserves grade A. Reason being, I established aclear stand on my choice of topic and outlined my argumentcomprehensively. I also discussed the counter to my topic,highlighting the positive side of chlorinating swimming pool water.The wording, grammar, and punctuation of my paper are also well done.The paper also consistently follows the rules set by MLA, regardingformatting and referencing.

ProblemsConstructing the Essay

Thereis limited research in this field of study. I had to look forinformation from multiple sources and ensure that it wasauthoritative by counterchecking the same information from otherdatabases and websites. Nonetheless, my time investment in this paperyielded the desired results since I developed a relativelywell-researched and authoritative essay.

Reasonsfor choosing this Topic

Earlierthis year, I went swimming, and, a few days later, I fell ill. Mydoctor pointed out that I should avoid going swimming for a few weekssince the chlorine in the water interfered with by body`s operation.I felt that I needed to know more about this issue thus, I foundthis opportunity ideal since I would not only educate myself aboutthe dangers of swimming in the chlorinated water but also myaudience.


Mygroup partners were very helpful, especially my partner, Billy White.He pointed out the areas that needed correcting and pointed the areaswhere my grammar was wanting and where more research was essential. Ialso requested a few members from a different class check my paperfor possible wordiness.

Focusof Comments

Iwould like to know whether my paper meets the research requirementsand if my development of ideas has been done satisfactorily.


Iwent through my paper to ensure that the grammar, style, coherence ofideas, and research on my area of interest has been done well.


Itook a considerable amount of time working on this essay, and I hopemy final grade will be indicative of my effort.

Ihope the comments mentioned above reflect my intents regarding theScientific Article essay. I look forward to going through thecomments that will proceed it.


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