"I'm allergic to chlorine." Doctors, pool service technicians and allergists hear this all of the time. However, a careful evaluation of the patient will actually reveal that this "allergy" is in reality a reaction to:
a. Improper pH levels
b. Out of balance water chemistry
c. Chloramines (the result of poor water chemistry)
Does the patient itch when they shower or bathe at home?
Almost every water system in the United States is sanitized with chlorine. In fact, there is a measurable amount in almost all tap water.
The itching or "chlorine" odor on the skin following swimming is most likely chloramines that have formed on the skin (formed when the chlorine came into contact with sweat).
Does the patient experience an allergic reaction (thoracic inflammation or respiratory distress) when they drink tap water?
If they were allergic to chlorine, ingesting an allergen would result in a reaction - especially when applied directly to the mucus membranes in the thoracic area.
Burning eyes when they swim in a chlorinated pool? If their eyes do not burn when subjected to drops of tap water, then the pH of the pool was probably out of balance.
Medical doctors who do not understand the science of swimming pool water chemistry and chlorination will simply agree with the patient.
Just because it "smells like chlorine" DOES NOT MEAN THAT IT IS CHLORINE.
Paolo Benedetti, SWD, Principal Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa
International Swimming Pool Consulting and Design, Aquatic Consulting, Watershape Consultants, Expert Witness, Hydraulic Design, Landscape Architecture, Construction Management
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