Have you ever wondered why swimming pools have a small little foot trough to get your feet wet before you enter the pool or the showers which require you to shower first as is the recommended practice? You’ll be surprised to know the science behind such common actions which are extremely beneficial for your health, failing which, you could contract certain diseases including severe skin infections.
A new research conducted to gauge the effects of pool water on health has revealed the importance of taking a shower before swimming.
1 Swimming Pool Disinfectant Can Cause Dangerous By Products
Research carried out at the University of South Carolina has issued a health report about the dangerous chemicals that are used in disinfecting a swimming pool. While such substances aren’t going to cause you a health problem because why would they use it in swimming pool if it did, it is your bodily fluids if mixed with such chemicals that can cause dangerous reactions.
Entering a swimming pool without washing off the sweat and personal care products that you might have used may cause the disinfectants to react with such fluids, which would then result in DBP’s or dangerous disinfection byproducts harmful to your health. Moreoverm make sure your kids don’t pee in the pool as the same dangerous toxins are produced from reaction with urine.
2 Study observed Atmosphere of swimming equally contaminated
When such byproducts were tested in laboratories, it was observed how genetically damaging they were to living cells. Various reports have found instances which have caused diseases such as bladder cancer and respiratory problems. The study found such prevailing issues in swimming pools, both private and public, as well as hot tubs too.
According to biochemist and co-author of the study, Susan Richardson, the main respiratory irritant present in the atmosphere near swimming pools is trichloramine, that is formed as a combination of urine and chlorine, it is the same byproduct formed in the swimming pool which enters the air.
3 Several contaminants found in indoor swimming pools and hot tubs
Trichloramine is known to cause several respiratory conditions such as asthma, colds and coughs. Although she stated that the suggestion isn’t to stay away from swimming pools but to practice moderation. The study also observed that the problem featured low in outdoor pools due to the higher degree of ventilation but if used extensively, the levels of such substances could increase.
To arrive at the conclusion, water samples from several indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs were tested, taking into account normal and extensive use. Almost a 100 DBP’s were found among which the researchers discovered mutagenic substances that had a huge potential to cause considerable damage and mutation to human cells.
4 Hot Tubs More Susceptible To Contaminants
In comparison, the study found that tap water was far cleaner than swimming pool water. Surprisingly, it was hot tubs that featured a double amount of DBP substances over swimming pools. This was because the hot temperature increased the level of the reaction by which DBPs could form faster. The study was subsequently published in the journal of Environmental Science and Technology.
After such a deliberation, the big question now remains that what should one do to go swimming? How can you be safe? Well, a shower before swimming is one important practice where you wash off all the sweat and external substances present on your body. And don’t get you kids to pee in the water even if they are raring to go.
5 Swimming Pools Should Have Better Methods of Disinfection
Richardson recommends that swimming pools should disinfect water using water filters containing silver, that kills pathogens before they can become DBP. She advocates the use of ozone and chlorine which are comparatively safer than the common Bromine. Ventilation is necessary for indoor pools.
A public health official for Florida, the state with the second largest number of swimming pools, said reducing waterborne illness is a bigger priority compared to DBPs, and public pools are safe when proper steps are taken.
According to the CDC, Center for disease control, the main cause of swimming pools being served closure was water being contaminated by people swimming even while suffering from stomach problems such as diarrheas and kids with no toilet training.
6 Shower before You Swim and Toilet Train Your Kids
However, public health officials thought otherwise. According to Mara Gambineri, communications director of Florida health department, the state was more concerned with arresting and reducing the spread of water borne diseases rather than be overly concerned with DBPs . State health department iterated that swimming pools can be made safe with the proper steps taken for ensuring safety. Gambineri felt that maintaining pH levels was a more important issue to check the spread of water borne diseases.
However she also stated that what would help the issue was postering in swimming pools recommending people to take a shower before swimming and to practice proper hygienic actions while swimming. Thus, the best way to stay safe is to shower before and after you go for a swim and you should also teach your kids personal hygiene.