Chlorine is used in pool water because it kills bacteria and germs, oxidizes organic debris from perspiration and body oils, and fights algae.
And among adults, exposure to chlorine in pools has been linked to bladder and rectal cancer and increased risk for coronary heart disease.
Is chlorinated water safe?
The EPA requires treated tap water to have a detectable level of chlorine to help prevent contamination. The allowable chlorine levels in drinking water (up to 4 parts per million) pose “no known or expected health risk [including] an adequate margin of safety.”
Can chlorine be dangerous?
Inhalation of chlorine gas or drinking highly concentrated sources of chlorine (such as household bleach) can lead to vomiting, coma, and even death. For this reason, many people fear that the chlorine in swimming pools and drinking water can be harmful for health, and cause cancer.
How does chlorine affect swimmers?
Indoor pools without proper ventilation place swimmers at a higher risk of chlorine exposure and associated compounds such as chloroform. Chlorine combines with compounds in sweat and urine to form even more potent irritants called chloramines, which directly cause asthma when inhaled.