Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 27

Thread: Alternative to chlorine, peroxide?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Alternative to chlorine, peroxide?

    We are putting in a new pool and I have visited this forum several times in the last month. I really don't like the idea of chlorine and every time I think I have found an alternative I find a message here bashing it with real science.

    So here is where I am, we are getting a UV light, Delta brand. I realize that I need a residual sanitizer with this and chlorine is the most common/quickest/cost effective solution. I also understand with proper maintenance chloramines should not be an issue, and that my biggest concerns are probably with chloramines and not chlorine. But, I still hate the idea of using chlorine - I am one of those totally crunchy people who makes her own deodorant.

    That being said, the only other sanitizer that seems to make sense is peroxide. I realize it is not EPA approved as a sanitizer and it kills slower than chlorine, but with the UV plus peroxide, would that work?

    Also, I found pool naturally moss. I spoke to them and they said the moss cuts down the breeding ground for microbes and therefore makes less work for your residual sanitizer. I read on here that if you are using chlorine properly then you don't need the moss. But, what if I am doing the UV and peroxide, then would the moss be helpful?

    I don't want to make my family sick, and reading this forum has certainly educated me, but as my last ditch effort at finding something that I feel good about, would this work? Thank you!
    11,700 gallons, pentair intelliflo variable speed pump, pentair Ultratemp heat pump. In Tampa, FL

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Alternative to chlorine, peroxide?

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Sounds like you have probably read many of the threads here discussing the "alternatives" like this one:
    alternative-sanitizers-and-chemical-free-pools-the-truth-t3025.html

    I am afraid you are not going to find a lot of proponents for methods that are not approved by the EPA, but maybe someone can offer you some advice.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    977

    Re: Alternative to chlorine, peroxide?

    Yeah, I think most of the advice you will get here will be "Don't get the UV, and just use chlorine."
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
    Wanda the Whale pool vacuum, home made heater, Taylor K-2006
    Cloudy Pool? 1) Order test kit. 2) Follow SLAM
    New to TFPC? Read Pool School a few times, then post questions. PoolMath will help with chemical additions.

  4. Back To Top    #4
    linen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
    8,649

    Re: Alternative to chlorine, peroxide?

    Welcome to tfp, Cassidy336

    Quote Originally Posted by Cassidy336
    I really don't like the idea of chlorine
    Why? (I ask because often the reason given points to a misconception that can be cleared up)

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnN
    Yeah, I think most of the advice you will get here will be "Don't get the UV, and just use chlorine."
    Agreed!
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    UN1017's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    288

    Re: Alternative to chlorine, peroxide?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cassidy336
    I also understand with proper maintenance chloramines should not be an issue, and that my biggest concerns are probably with chloramines and not chlorine. But, I still hate the idea of using chlorine - I am one of those totally crunchy people who makes her own deodorant.
    Welcome to TFP. I don't think there is anything wrong with being concerned with what you are putting in your pool....or under your arms for that matter. Remember, "products" we use are all a combination of nature's elements. e.g. NaCl. What probably concerns most of us is where it comes from or what was used to make it. You make your own deodorant so why not make your own chlorine and that is done best with a SWG. Electricity and ordinary salt result in the great sanitizing power of chlorine. Many pool products have to use additives or other undesirable ingredients to offer that feeling of "convenience" or to otherwise make them more marketable.

    The interesting thing is that the BBB method is really at the core of simplicity and about as "natural" as it can get. Chlorine from a SWG, baking soda, borax and even muriatic acid (HCl) are all pretty simple compounds. It's all the magic potions from the pool stores that scare me.

    Ultimately you don't want to risk your family's health but you should be in complete control of what your swimming in.
    15'x30' IG - Roman-style - 14K - Pebble Fina Classico
    Filter: Jandy CL460 Pump: Jandy Stealth SHPF1.5 SWG: Jandy AquaPure 1400 Cleaner: Jandy RayVac Test Kit: TF-100 w/SpeedStir

    Chlorine/CYA Chart----Extended Test Kit Directions----SLAM

  6. Back To Top    #6
    schertzy82's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    100

    Re: Alternative to chlorine, peroxide?

    With UV light, the contaminants already have to be present in the water for the light to be of any use. See the problem with that? It is a reactive measure, not a preventative one. So, yes, you would need to use it in conjunction with a sanitizer, which would make the light unnecessary in the first place. And if you do happen to get an algae bloom, the light is not going to do much good, as it would only kill the contaminants that pass through it. Any algae on the walls or the floor would continue to grow. I don't know much about chemistry, so I can't offer any advice on the peroxide. But I am puzzled as to why someone who prefers natural alternatives would be open to using peroxide, but not chlorine. What about chlorine makes you uneasy, especially given that you appear to have done some research on it? Is it just its chemical-sounding name? Would you be nervous if I told you that there could be high levels of a chemical called dihydrogen monoxide in your pool? If so, then maybe you've been a bit misinformed about chlorine as well, because dihydrogen monoxide is just the chemical name for water. If you're concerned about things like green hair or stinging eyes, then perhaps you should read Common Swimming Pool Myths in Pool School on this website. It's your pool and you have every right to use whatever you want in it, but chlorine is proven by far to be the easiest and best way to maintain a clean, safe, and sparkling pool.
    Intex 18ft x 52in Ultra Frame Pool, hard plumbed w/skimmer and fountain
    Intex 4000 gph cartridge filter pump
    Intex SWG

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,082

    Re: Alternative to chlorine, peroxide?

    Welcome to TFP!

    EPA Approved Disinfectants
    There are only three chemicals that are EPA-approved as a disinfectant for swimming pools: chlorine, bromine and Baquacil/biguanide/PHMB. For spas, the Nature2 system (silver ions) with non-chlorine shock (MPS) is also approved, but only for hot spa temperatures (i.e. not for pools). The reason these are the only ones that are approved is that they are the only chemicals that kill bacteria quickly enough to pass the stringent EPA DIS/TSS-12 which requires a disinfectant to kill 99.9999% of Escherichia coli in 30 seconds or less and 99.9999% of Enterococcus faecalis in 2 minutes or less and that maintain a residual in the bulk pool water. UV and ozone kill pathogens quickly, but do not leave a residual in the water (more about ozone later) and in residential pools they are generally not needed when using chlorine -- the primary exception being indoor pools where UV can be helpful as a supplement in reducing chloramines since there is no sunlight.

    Now these stringent requirements are only a legal requirement in commercial/public pools as dictated by state and county/city laws. For residential pools, the EPA standard (via FIFRA regulations) just regulates what can be claimed by products on labeling and in advertising, namely that they can only claim to be a disinfectant or to kill (public health) bacteria if they pass EPA DIS/TSS-12 and are also demonstrated to be safe. So technically, you can do whatever you want in your pool the same way that commercial kitchens are regulated with strict sanitary standards but you can do whatever you want in your own kitchen.

    Alternatives - Hydrogen Peroxide
    Hydrogen peroxide is a strong oxidizer, but the levels generally required for any sort of reasonable disinfection (around 30-100 ppm) also tend to be irritating. Australia allows for hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant, but only in spas. Hydrogen peroxide is also used in the Baquacil/biguanide/PHMB system, but as an oxidizer since the former is the disinfectant.

    Metal Ions
    Metal ions kill far more slowly (see this post for a table of kill rates), but would prevent uncontrolled bacterial growth. To kill fecal and other bacteria and to control algae, you'd have to use a combination of copper and silver ions and the main problem is preventing metal staining, especially if you have a plaster or fiberglass pool surface. Those with blond hair can also get a greenish tint if the copper levels are not kept low or the pH gets too high. The copper is also an algaecide to prevent algae growth.

    Other Alternatives
    There are a variety of biofilm prevention systems including surfactants (AquaFinesse), sphagnum moss (Creative Water Solutions PoolNaturally) and enzyme systems, but these are not disinfectants so do nothing to prevent person-to-person transmission of disease (metal ions don't do that well either). There are also "Natural Swimming Pools" discussed in this thread.

    Ozone as a Residual
    It is possible to use ozone as a residual in pool water, but it is very, very expensive for a residential pool since it requires very short turnover rates due to the 15-30 minute half-life of ozone and would require running the system continuously and using a high-end commercial-grade ozonator that was extremely efficient and even then one may still have some outgassing of ozone. Interestingly, the symptoms of ozone as an air pollutant are similar to that of nitrogen trichloride which is the volatile and irritating chloramine that is most often talked about.

    Bromide and Brominated Organics
    There's also a little dirty secret that no one in the industry discusses and that is that using virtually any oxidizer in pool water will oxidize any bromide in that water into bromine and the brominated organics, such as the brominated trihalomethanes, tend to be worse than the chlorinated ones. So unless you have bromide-free water, all the "alternative" systems can have some of the same cancer-causing chemicals as a chlorinated pool except that in a chlorinated pool there tends to be more of the chlorinated trihalomethane, chloroform, which does not cause cancer (except at much, much higher cytotoxic levels) and far less of the brominated ones (technical details in this post). I've had my own pool water measured for THMs and found that to be the case.

    Even so, the level of disinfection by-products in outdoor residential pools is very low and not that far from drinking water because the bather load is low and disinfection by-products come primarily from bather load unless you get a lot of organic debris that falls into your pool.

    Info About Chlorine
    By the way, in outdoor residential pools that use chlorine, when it breaks down in sunlight it produces hydroxyl radicals just like the ones that come from ozone and hydrogen peroxide and are part of the reason why outdoor residential pools tend to be easier to keep free of organic buildup and of chloramines compared to indoor pools.

    The final point to keep in mind is that chlorine in pools as practiced by this forum is used with Cyanuric Acid (CYA) at levels that prevent algae growth and such levels of active chlorine are far lower than found in tap water or other chlorinated sources. It's roughly equivalent to less than 0.1 ppm Free Chlorine (FC) with no CYA. This level of chlorine reacts with swimsuits, skin and hair much more slowly than pools without CYA, such as most indoor commercial/public pools (and some outdoor commercial/public pools, though many use CYA).

    If you wanted to maintain a lower chlorine level than even that, then you could at extra cost use an algaecide, such as Polyquat 60, to prevent algae growth.

    My wife swims nearly every day in our outdoor pool and she buys organic, grows our own herbs, lettuce and tomatoes, and uses "natural" products when possible (and refuses to use anything from Dow Chemical because she's never forgiven them for Napalm -- a true child of the 60's). And she loves our chlorinated pool. It is so much better than the indoor community center pool and friends who come over and use our pool sometimes think it isn't even chlorinated because they don't notice a smell or other problems they notice in other pools.

    If you have specific questions about reports you've seen about chlorine, just ask. We've looked at many of them and get into the truth about them (for example, see this post and this thread).
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  8. Back To Top    #8

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
    Posts
    30,081

    Re: Alternative to chlorine, peroxide?

    chem geek,

    Another really great, informative post. Factually stated without the least hint of condescension. Everyone on the forum benefits greatly from your input. Thank you
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Alternative to chlorine, peroxide?

    11,700 gallons, pentair intelliflo variable speed pump, pentair Ultratemp heat pump. In Tampa, FL

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW Indiana
    Posts
    9,089

    Re: Alternative to chlorine, peroxide?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cassidy336
    There is as much chlorine in tap water as there is in pool water. I wouldn't put much stock in articles unless they are on a .edu domain.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    North Canton, Ohio
    Posts
    50

    Re: Alternative to chlorine, peroxide?

    Wow! Chem Geek you ROCK! Dang! TFP is sooooo awesome
    "There are no bad days, just some better than others"


    18k, Ig Vinyl, 3/4 us motors, Hayward sand filter, quickpure3 ozone generator

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    High Point, NC
    Posts
    31

    Re: Alternative to chlorine, peroxide?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cassidy336
    Reading that article, I have to ask....how do you plan to clean yourself at all? It argues that you are poisoning yourself by taking a bath (skin absorption of chlorine from tap water), then argues that the high temperatures of a shower lead to high rates of inhalation of chlorine in the mist.
    13,500 gallon AGP. Sand Filter. Swimmax Electric Heater

  13. Back To Top    #13
    linen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
    8,649

    Re: Alternative to chlorine, peroxide?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Quote Originally Posted by Cassidy336
    There is as much chlorine in tap water as there is in pool water. I would put much stock in articles unless they are on a .edu domain.
    As JohnT said, be careful with sources outside of the science domain. For example quoting from second article on your list:
    One of the most popular options now to avoid using chlorine is saline -- or salt water -- pools. With this method, the pool is kept clean by adding a small amount of salt to the water every few months. The water is pumped through a cell chamber that breaks down the salt into its components, which produce chlorine gas that cleans the water in the chamber. The water is bacteria-free when it is once again released into the pool and the chlorine gas that had been formed is never released into the pool.
    From this statement, it is obvious that the person that wrote this does not know the subject. One fallacy (there are a few) in this quote is the statement that "chlorine" does not get back to the pool. In fact, "chlorine" does remain in the bulk of the water (thank goodness) to provide a residual sanitizer when using a swg. A residual sanitizer in the bulk pool water is important to keep the likelihood of person to person disease transmission low.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Alternative to chlorine, peroxide?

    Quote Originally Posted by TarheelFan
    Quote Originally Posted by Cassidy336
    Reading that article, I have to ask....how do you plan to clean yourself at all? It argues that you are poisoning yourself by taking a bath (skin absorption of chlorine from tap water), then argues that the high temperatures of a shower lead to high rates of inhalation of chlorine in the mist.

    We use a whole house water filter.
    11,700 gallons, pentair intelliflo variable speed pump, pentair Ultratemp heat pump. In Tampa, FL

  15. Back To Top    #15
    Smykowski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Gurnee, IL (North Suburban Chi-town)
    Posts
    3,065

    Re: Alternative to chlorine, peroxide?

    The biggest misconception about chlorine stems from the fact that (unfortunately) in a majority of situations it is not properly used.

    Here's an example that will hopefully show how little chlorine is actually needed in a properly maintained pool.

    Take a 5 gallon bucket. Fill it with water. Now add one teaspoon (that's 0.1 oz!!) of plain laundry bleach. Stir. The free chlorine concentration in the bucket is about double what a properly maintained pool should be.

    In addition, we use a stabilizer to protect chlorine from sunlight. This reduces the about of active, sanitizing chlorine (hypochlorous acid) in solution. When this is taken into account, that bucket of chlorine water that you made above is now about 10 times stronger than the chlorine water in a properly maintained pool.

    The bottom line is, and John said it above, around here you will never get an answer other than "The alternatives are nonsense....the safest, cleanest way is to use chlorine."
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    SW Louisiana
    Posts
    6,711

    Re: Alternative to chlorine, peroxide?

    Quote Originally Posted by TarheelFan
    Quote Originally Posted by Cassidy336
    Reading that article, I have to ask....how do you plan to clean yourself at all? It argues that you are poisoning yourself by taking a bath (skin absorption of chlorine from tap water), then argues that the high temperatures of a shower lead to high rates of inhalation of chlorine in the mist.
    The thing that I have to wonder about is how do they reconcile all this with the Chlorine compounds that are required for the human body to function, after all stomach acid is made from Hydrogen Chloride (around .5%) which of course breaks down into Chlorine ions in a aqueous solution, say like when we drink non-Chlorinated water, which will then have reaction byproducts depending on what we eat and some of this will likely be absorbed through the intestines into our blood stream, etc.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,082

    Re: Alternative to chlorine, peroxide?

    Peer-Reviewed Scientific Research
    We generally only look at peer-reviewed papers in respected scientific journals and even then we look at multiple papers giving greatest weight to surveys of papers that compile the entire landscape of information. We also look at who funded the researchers and any conflicts of interest. I've personally purchased well over a thousand dollars of these papers over the years since reading the abstracts rarely gives the complete picture of what is going on. We do this because reports from websites that are selling products are generally dubious since they have a financial incentive to deceive. It's not that they are all wrong, but we've found them to be very mixed -- some are completely incorrect, some are correct but intentionally leave out relevant information (i.e. are deceptive), and others are fairly reasonable.

    Chlorine Absorption
    So let's talk about the issues raised in the three links you provided, all of which have a financial incentive to be biased. First of all, chlorine is not absorbed very deeply into the skin let alone the body because chlorine is very reactive. It mostly reacts very quickly with the ammonia in your sweat within seconds to a minute to form monochloramine at which point it much more slowly reacts. Monochloramine is what is found in chloraminated drinking water and many municipal water utilities have switched from chlorine to monochloramine so that fewer disinfection by-proudcts are produced in the water distribution system. Some of the chlorine oxidizes chemicals in the skin and when it does so it becomes chloride (salt). Some chlorine reacts with other chemicals in the skin and becomes combined chlorine (CC) and it is some of these chlorinated organics that have dermal absorption and can enter the body and bloodstream. In fact, if chlorine itself mostly absorbed into the body, you wouldn't have the side effects of flakier skin or frizzier hair when exposed to higher active chlorine levels. When people do the experiment of dipping an arm into a small container of water with parts-per-million amounts of chlorine in it, the chlorine goes away and they claim the chlorine is absorbed, but that's simply not true and instead the chlorine has mostly reacted with the surface layers of your skin (mostly the stratum corneum layer of dead cells and the ammonia and creatinine in sweat).

    Disinfection By-Products
    The most notable category of the combined chlorines are the trihalomethanes (THMs) that I discussed before. The other main category are the haloacetic acids (HAA5 because there are 5 of them normally tracked in drinking water, though there are 9 total). There are also haloacetonitriles (HAN). These three are also found in pool water as disinfection by-products from chlorine reacting with various organics found in the water (i.e. not just on skin). Another main category of disinfection by-products are the inorganic chloramines: monochloramine, dichloramine and nitrogen trichloride. Whereas some of the THMs, HAA5 and HAN are of concern due to their potential to cause cancer, nitrogen trichloride is of concern due to irritating the airways. I should reiterate that the quantity of disinfection by-products found in pools is strongly correlated with bather load and almost all of the pool studies are with high bather-load commercial/public pools. Residential pools, especially outdoor ones using CYA, generally have much lower levels of disinfection by-products and just as importantly, the CYA significantly moderates chlorine's strength to significantly slow down the production of those by-products in skin.

    Epidemiological Studies
    So let's first look at one of the most comprehensive surveys of chlorinated water that was recently done -- namely the Environmental Health Criteria 216 "Disinfectants and Disinfectant By-Products" document from the World Health Organization (WHO) from 2000 (updated somewhat in 2004). The summary of the epidemiological studies is quoted below:

    Epidemiological studies have not identified an increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with chlorinated or chloraminated drinking-water. Studies of other disinfectants have not been conducted.
    The epidemiological evidence is insufficient to support a causal relationship between bladder cancer and long-term exposure to chlorinated drinking-water,THMs, chloroform or other THM species. The epidemiological evidence is inconclusive and equivocal for an association between colon cancer and long-term exposure to chlorinated drinking-water, THMs, chloroform or other THM species. The information is insufficient to allow an evaluation of the observed risks for rectal cancer and risks for other cancers observed in single analytical studies.
    Studies have considered exposures to chlorinated drinking-water, THMs or THM species and various adverse outcomes of pregnancy. A scientific panel recently convened by the US Environmental Protection Agency reviewed the epidemiological studies and concluded that the results of currently published studies do not provide convincing evidence that chlorinated water or THMs cause adverse pregnancy outcomes.
    Now if one looks at the details in the long document, one will find individual epidemiology studies showing links to a variety of cancers and that is what many pseudo-science websites selling products such as water filters or alternative disinfectants all show. However, if you look at the details, you find that nearly every study that shows a correlation has another study that shows no correlation and for many that do show something, the odds ratios are low and all are less than 2 meaning doubled risk. When this sort of mixture of studies happens and where odds ratios are fairly low, it often means that there are confounding variables people aren't taking into account. For example, if you find a correlation of lower cancer risk with people drinking well water compared to chlorinated municipal water, it may be due to well water being in rural areas where more people work on farms or doing heavier labor for more exercise compared to people in cities/suburbs. Unless the study explicitly looks for exercise or physical labor as a variable, they will falsely attribute cancer risk to chlorinated water rather than the lower level of exercise.

    Your Links
    The first link you gave has a lot of incorrect information in it. The link talks about chloroform, but that's a non-issue as described in numerous papers I listed in this post I linked to earlier (below toxic levels, it doesn't cause cancer and is removed by the body). They also talk about asthma and I already linked to the thread that has recent data showing less and less of a link of swimming to asthma essentially overturning Bernard's original papers.

    The second link refers to a newer paper and I just bought it to read it in full. One quote from this paper is that "this study demonstrated that brominated acetic acids have more adverse health effects than chlorinated ones" which is consistent with what I wrote earlier. Some papers from Barcelona, Spain were with water that was higher in bromide content though this latest paper has lower bromide content (< 0.1 ppm indoor; < 0.2 ppm outdoor). The paper showed that for HAA5, the major route of exposure is ingestion (i.e. swallowing pool water) and only about 5% was from inhalation and 1% from dermal absorption. The pool water averaged the following:

    COMPOUND ..... INDOOR ..... OUTDOOR ..... WHO GUIDELINE ..... EPA LIFETIME CANCER RISK (using "OUTDOOR" values)
    TCCA .............. 105 g/L ..... 122 g/L .......... 200 g/L ............... 1 in 4100
    DCAA ................ 71 g/L ..... 154 g/L ............ 50 g/L ............... 1 in 4500
    MCAA ................ 20 g/L ....... 25.5 g/L ......... 20 g/L ............... (not available)

    Understand that these WHO guidelines and EPA cancer risks are for drinking 2 quarts or liters of water every day for a lifetime. However, there is no way one is ingesting 2 quarts of pool water every day when swimming and as the study noted 94% of the exposure came from ingestion so the cancer risk is likely to be lower by a factor of 10 if not 100 (i.e. into the 1 in 100,000 range). Remember also that these are high bather-load commercial/public pools that generally have higher levels of disinfection by-products compared to outdoor residential low bather-load pools. The indoor pools likely did not have CYA so their active chlorine levels were 10 times higher than in residential pools (and it's possible the outdoor pools weren't using CYA since the reported FC levels were rather low and they were using a chlorinating liquid feed system).

    The third link says things like "trihalomethanes which are highly toxic, about 10,000 times more toxic than chlorine", but that is really saying more about how chlorine itself isn't very harmful and he doesn't say how the quantity of trihalomethanes in concentration is orders of magnitude smaller than that of the chlorine that produced it so the factor of 10,000 is really misleading in multiple ways. It's just a scare tactic. Yes, THMs can cause cancer, but one needs to look at the actual rates just as I did for the HAA5 above. I've had THM measurements made of my pool water and tap water and though the pool water concentrations are higher, they are roughly in the range of less than 1 in 50,000 cancer risk and that's if I drank 2 quarts of pool water every day for a lifetime. Now the website talks about showers and it is true that with hot showers one absorbs more disinfection by-products in the tap water through inhalation of aerosols and volatization of gasses and the pores of the skin are opened more so that there is more dermal absorption as well. However, even with these increased rates of absorption you are still looking at increased cancer risks that are still much lower than the 1 in 10,000 range.

    So then one may look at some bladder cancer studies showing up to 2.0 odds ratios for those with the highest THM exposure and wonder what's going on, but that's when one needs to look at multiple studies as in the WHO report and also examine specific recent studies such as this one and look at Table 1 that shows odds ratios of 3.05 for former smokers and 6.41 for current smokers that stands out rather significantly and being far more important that showering, swimming or bathing. Table 2 that shows the odds ratios vs. THM exposure is strange because it doesn't show an increase based on the number of years of exposure, only based on the average residential THM level during exposure and the same is true in Table 3 for the lifetime exposure amount for swimming. Also note in Table 3 that showering with moderate THM levels for women has a low 0.4 odds ratio implying that women should shower with moderate levels of THMs to cut their bladder cancer risk by 60%! When one sees this sort of thing, one immediately thinks "confounding variables". In other words, there may be something else accounting for the variation such as people with access to swimming pools may have other kinds of correlated activity or exposure that accounts for the difference. This is why the WHO report generally discounted the bladder studies because they varied so much and were far from conclusive (but they do list them and their details so you can read about them).
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Alternative to chlorine, peroxide?

    Wow. I don't know how much more scientific evidence Cassidy is looking for. Seems like you have been provided with a lot of unbiased information and at this point it is up to you to decide what is right for you and your family. We are certainly always available to answer more questions and offer additional help as required.

    I for one am going to bookmark this thread for future reference. Thanks Chem Geek!!!
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    North Canton, Ohio
    Posts
    50

    Re: Alternative to chlorine, peroxide?

    This site is awesome! Chem Geek if you are ever are in Ohio and need some bbq or beer or a pool to cool off in, please stop by! Cause you my friend are ALRIGHT!
    "There are no bad days, just some better than others"


    18k, Ig Vinyl, 3/4 us motors, Hayward sand filter, quickpure3 ozone generator

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Alternative to chlorine, peroxide?

    I didn't read everything because it's too much, you guys cover things too thoroughly for me

    I saw the snippet from jonbarron.org too and thought, wow.. how does the water stay sanitized if the chlorine gas is "removed" before the water returns. EVERY SWCG owner will tell you that if their water isn't showing the proper FC level that the SWCG isn't working properly.

    As for the whole house filter, why don't you use a test kit and check your tap water. If I recall the Culligan demonstration, filters will remove some things from tap water, chlorine being one. But I'm thinking it didn't remove 100% of it. Reverse osmosis systems would be impractical for a whole house system, but that's what you want for your drinking water. Speaking of which I never did test our R/O water vs tap water to see the difference. Properly maintained (BBB) chemistry will always serve you the best.

    EDIT -- I just checked Dr Mercola's page.. From the start you can tell by the design it's geared towards sales. The wording even starts off as a scare tactic (spam) type of message. I don't consider these to be legitimate informational websites. TFP + experience is the way to go. But if you need the scientific explanations of course you can always review Chem Geek's posts.
    Aaron
    [ Vogue Vectra 24' AG | Hard plumb: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1HP 2-speed, 27" sand filter & Pentair MiniMax 100 NG | Taylor K-2006 | Central IL ]
    Powered by: TFP, PoolMath & TFTestkits

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •