Friday, July 19, 2024

Beware If A Pool Has A Strong Chlorine Smell

With summer heat waves in full force, a cool dip in the pool is a great solution…but beware if a pool has this strong smell – it is clue for something icky.

There are almost 11 million swimming pools in the US.  This include private, community, school and hotel pools. Some 36% of children and 15% of adults enjoy pools at least six times a year. Nothing says summer than lounging by the pool with a drink and some good music.  With summer heat waves, a cool dip is the most refreshing thing you can imagine.  But, if you are in a shared pool, you need to be a little careful and beware if a pool has a strong chlorine smell.

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A quick check to see fi the pool is clean includes clear water, the side and base aren’t slimy, the pool filters are working and there is no strong pool smell. The smell of chlorine makes us think of summer and suggests a the swimming pool is clean. But the CDC says don’t be fooled and it is not truly accurate. In fact, a pool that smells heavily of chemicals and chlorine likely means there’s a lot of bacteria and contaminants in there.

Chlorine is added to pools as a way of preventing germs and keep it clean. But, the chemical is still affected by what comes off of swimmers’ bodies, like sweat, fecal matter, urine, deodorant, makeup and dirt. These contaminants mix in with the chlorine and result in chloramines, which are the chemicals responsible for the strong pool smell. They appear more frequently in pools where there’s not a lot of ventilation, especially if these are located indoors.

Side effects of contact with chloramine include:

  • Nasal irritation, coughing, wheezing
  • Triggered asthma attacks
  • Red, itchy eyes
  • Skin irritation and rashes

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A clean pool should have no smell at all and it should have a clear and blue-ish color. If the water is muddy and the feel of it is slimy, it means that the pool hasn’t been properly cleaned and that it can harm you skin. It’s also important to remember that, no matter how annoying and boring it is, you should always shower before you enter the pool in order to prevent the development of more chloramines. Urinating in the pool is also out of the question as it really brings out the chloramines.


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