The Effects Of Chlorine In Swimming Pools

by Pool Builders on 04-11-2011 in Articles

Chlorine has been used for a very long time due to its effectiveness and its affordability as it is in fact the cheapest of the chemicals used to disinfect swimming pools as well as Jacuzzis. It plays an important role in maintaining clean water which is not only crystal-clear but also free from any bacteria that may be harmful to humans. This alone makes chlorine a household product used in swimming pools all over the world.

The use of chlorine is necessary in pool care basically for its fast acting and effectiveness in keeping the bacteria level low. Whenever you pour a chlorine solution on your pool, it breaks down into chemicals that kill bacteria and other harmful microorganisms by destroying their lipids, enzymes and structures which make them harmless to humans. The breaking process includes two of the most important of the sanitizing chemicals which are hypochlorous acid (HOCI) and hypochlorite ion (OCI). These two possess the same disinfecting power but varies only on the speed at which they oxidize. The amount of these two chemicals created depends on the temperature of the water and most especially on its pH level. So basically, the better the pH level and given the right temperature, you will have more amount of both chemicals.

Although chlorine proves to be effective on cleaning and keeping the pool safe from harmful bacteria, the use of this chemical product posts a danger to humans. There are several risks when it comes to using this chemical on our pools. The most common and noticeable of these is skin irritations that lead to eczemas and rashes if not treated immediately and properly. Although we rarely see these skin problems, they are mostly seen among swimmers who are sensitive to chemicals. A large amount of chlorine that floats over the air as it evaporates is also reported to cause eye irritations among swimmers. Red eyes among swimmers are also caused by chloramines which are commonly present on poorly balanced water. The use of large amount of chlorine may possibly cause breathing difficulties and problems to occur as it will gas out the breathing air especially on pools that are not well-ventilated or are covered. All of these can be avoided with proper handling of the chemical and the correct amount of solution poured on the swimming pool.

There are alternatives to chlorine when it comes to maintaining your pool clean and disinfectant which includes other chemicals and ion generators. Although these may be less harmful than chlorine, they do not prove to be more effective even at the same level when it comes to disinfecting, cleaning, maintaining the oxidation level and the affordability like that of chlorine. No matter what type of chemical you use, whether it is safer than chlorine, always remember to follow the instructions up to the letter in order to avoid any health problems. Also keep in mind to put on your safety gear especially a face mask when applying these chemicals on your pool.

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