Swimming is great exercise, but your daily laps or hot tub soaks may expose you to massive doses of chlorine, bromine, and other toxic chemicals that could cause respiratory and skin problems or eye irritation. Chlorine products also produce dioxins, furans, and trihalomethanes—all possible carcinogens.
If you own a pool or a hot tub, try healthier alternatives for keeping water clean.
• Chlorine alternatives. Bacteria battlers include blends of enzymes, minerals, and plant extracts. (Pacific Sands Eco One spa products: PacificSandsInc.com).
• Ozone generators. Naturally occurring ozone gas pumps through charcoal filters into water, reducing the need for chlorine and bromine by 60 to 90 percent. Ozone is effective at killing bacteria, yeast, mildew, molds, and fungus. (Del Hot Tub Ozonators: HotTubEssentials.com).
If you swim in public pools—which tend to be highly chlorinated—take these steps to mitigate your chemical exposure.
• Shower immediately after leaving the water.
• Wear swim goggles to minimize eye irritation.
• Find out when chemicals are added to the water and postpone your visit for several hours afterward.
• Don’t swim or soak every day. Chlorine doesn’t accumulate in muscles or tissue, so alternating swim days lets your system recover. (The Green Guide).