While a lot of us love the smell of chlorine because it makes us think of summer and suggests that the swimming pool is clean, the CDC says that’s not at all 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, 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 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
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. Sadly, peeing in the pool is also out of the question.