Reader Question: Is Chlorine Water Safe?

Posted on June 21, 2011

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Last week, after the Mayor’s Health Line posted a blog on Water Safety, we received a great question from one of our readers:

“Thanks for the good ideas about safety but what about soaking yourself in chlorine for hours at a time – especially if you are a little kid. Can you post something about what can be done about drinking, bathing and swimming in/with chlorinated water? Thanks”

First off, thank you to the reader for sharing his questions and concerns. It is important to understand that there are health risks associated with chlorine-treated pools. Chlorine is a strong chemical used to kill microbes in the pool, it also combines with organic matter in the pool such as skin, sweat, and urine. This creates a disinfectant byproduct in the pool which can have adverse health effects. Also keep in mind public pools do not frequently change their pool water, they rely on chemical treatments to cleanse the pool. I’m not saying to avoid pools, but to protect yourself by showering before and after swimming.

Also, in response to your question about drinking water perhaps The National Academic Press (NAP) can share some helpful information about chlorinated drinking water.

Please comment on the blog and let us know which issues and topics are of interest to you. You may also call the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050.

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