Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Safe to swim in chlorine?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    17

    Safe to swim in chlorine?

    Hi all,

    I'm confused and concerned. I'm about to close on a house and my wife and I are about to have a baby. The pool at the house we're buying is a normal chlorinated pool. My cousin has recommended we switch to a saltwater system. I've heard and read that it produces less chloramines - true? I also like the idea of not having to lug chlorine. I was disappointed to learn that a saltwater system still produces chlorine. She says the water is less irritating. However, I'm still worried about the chlorine. I've been reading up on it and discovering that maybe spending all this time in pools down here in Florida isn't so great for us. I know the research is in its early stages but I'm seeing that swimming in chlorine is being linked to asthma and some cancers. I never really thought about it before but it makes sense since it's a chemical.

    I was set to go with a saltwater chlorinator but then started looking up alternatives. I've come across a lot, from ozone to UV to metal ions. Companies such as Technopure, Go Chemless/Eco Tech Pool (based right here in South Florida), etc. But I'm seeing conversations on forums that make me worry these systems don't really work.

    Anyway, can some of you please shed some light and hopefully put my mind at ease?

    Here are my questions:
    1. Is it safe to swim in chlorine? Why do you think so?
    2. Is a saltwater chlorinator system safer than a normal system?
    3. Is a saltwater system better than a normal system? I've never owned my own pool but I'm drawn to the fact that the saltwater system would make its own chlorine and I won't have to lug around jugs of chlorine.
    4. Are there any alternatives out there that work well and are safer than chlorine?

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Safe to swim in chlorine?

    1) Yes, at normal pool levels chlorine is safe. There is way more active chlorine in most tap water than there is in pool. The main risk is from certain forms of combined chlorine, which are mostly only an issue in poorly managed indoor pools (which is unfortunately quite common).
    2) Not really. It has far more to do with indoor vs outdoor and how well you take care of the pool rather than using a SWG or not.
    3) The primary benefit of a SWG is convince. It does allow slightly lower FC levels, but that is really not significant.
    4) No, only a few things come close and none of them are as good.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    17

    Re: Safe to swim in chlorine?

    Thanks for the fast response JasonLion.

    I hear you on tap water. My wife and I already use a purification system to filter our drinking water. I'm getting ready to install shower filters on both showers to filter out the chlorine. My skin gets very dry the more I shower and I feel exhausted after getting out of showers. That's what got me thinking about the pool - I'll be swimming in the stuff!

    What do you attribute the information coming out about the possible link between swimming in chlorinated pools and asthma and cancer to?

    Perhaps I don't know enough about it but the fact that we absorb everything through our skin concerns me about chlorinated water. In your opinion, you believe we can absorb it and safely eliminate it?

    I'm reading stuff like this:
    http://news.discovery.com/human/heal...ing-cancer.htm

    It concerns me that chlorine is a carcinogen.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Cypress, TX
    Posts
    130

    Re: Safe to swim in chlorine?

    Technically water is a chemical so your are always swimming in chemicals. I've tested my tap water a few times and it has ranged from 1.5 - 3.5 ppm FC so I drink with it, cook with it and bathe and shower in it.

    My brother in law switched from chlorine based pool to a baqua and seems happy, but I have yet to see his pool since he made the change nor do I really know anything about it.
    23x40 freeform w/spa, 28,000 gal. PCC-2000 in-floor cleaning. Pebble Sheen w/flagstone coping. 14' weeping wall, (2) 18" sheer descents. Sta Rite- cart 400 sqft. filter, Intellipro VS pump, 1hp (cleaning)2hp (water feature)Max E Pro's. Easy Touch 8 function w/IPod. Rainbow chlorinator, Paramount Clear O3 (I know, I know), Max-E-Therm 400K heater.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    17

    Re: Safe to swim in chlorine?

    I'm somewhat concerned that we may realize in the future that chlorine has actually been harmful to our health.

    Isn't chlorine a carcinogen? Is it not a carcinogen in the amounts present in pools?

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Safe to swim in chlorine?

    According to CA ... just about everything is a carcinogen in high enough quantities

    This topic has been covered in a lot of threads on this forum. Generally the only way a person may have a problem with chlorine is if they spend hours every day, like for training, in an indoor pool which has no stabilizer in it. The active chlorine in a public indoor pool is much higher (like 10x) than the active levels using our recommended levels with stabilizer. Plus being outdoors, there is not as much chance of a build up of the CC that is what generally causes the problems, because the sun burns it off.

    There really is not a reliable alternative to chlorine. It is the cheapest and best sanitizer. If you have this much concern, then maybe a personal pool is not for you ... but I would CERTAINLY prefer to be in my own well maintained pool than any public one. Most public pools / water parks make me cringe after learning and understanding the chemistry based on the information provided here.
    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!

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    17

    Re: Safe to swim in chlorine?

    Just trying to understand if there is validity in my concern or not. I figured I'd ask people who seem to know a **** of a lot more.

    I know you all put a lot of effort into keeping your pools clean but do you ever think about the chlorine? Or do you just trust it's safe?

  8. Back To Top    #8
    dafuzz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    North Florida
    Posts
    66

    Re: Safe to swim in chlorine?

    If I were concerned about Chlorine, I'd not drink tap water, nor maintain my pool, or use my pool, clean my bathrooms, or sport the whitest of white laundry.

    I do or have all of the above. So no, I'm not concerned.

    It is rumored that pretty much everything causes cancer. From power lines, cell phones, second-hand smoke, artificial sweetener, natural sweetener, car exhaust, riding in a car, living in the city, and eating potatoes and red meat.

    Ergo, pretty much everything gives one cancer. That's the thing about life, no one gets out alive.

    I trust that chlorine is safe, other than mixing it in a cleaning bucket with ammonia, or dumping it right on my skin.
    ~31k gallon 18x36 IG, Vinyl LoopLoc Sahara, Hayward C-750 75sq' Cartridge filter, Pentair Intelliflow VS3050, SGS Breeze760 SWG, Homemade Aerators, SmartPool Nitro 52 Wall Climber, TFT100 XL, Borates, and a partridge in a pear tree :)

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    334

    Re: Safe to swim in chlorine?

    Welcome to TFP dc2sofla!

    You may find some useful information in this thread as well, I know I did:

    alternative-to-chlorine-peroxide-t57059.html
    Dedicated TFPer since 2012 with recommended test kit
    Above ground, 30 foot round pool, 21,000 gallons
    Hayward 150 sq foot cartridge filter, 1HP Waterway pump
    Raypak 400K BTU NG Heater!
    Installed in 2006? (just a guess, pool came with house I purchased in June 2012)

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Safe to swim in chlorine?

    There are a lot of very detailed discussions written by Chem Geek that you can search for. And there are discussions about "alternative" as well.
    Here are a few:

    alternative-to-chlorine-peroxide-t57059.html
    how-much-chlorine-is-too-much-t45170.html
    debunking-the-chlorine-lock-myth-t30013.html
    pool-water-chemistry-t628.html
    certified-pool-operator-cpo-training-what-is-not-taught-t18432.html

    As you can see it is not that we "trust" it to be safe ... there is plenty of science behind the methods we teach. I would be more afraid of the bacteria, viruses and parasites in the water where adequate chlorine was not present.
    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!

  11. Back To Top    #11

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
    Posts
    30,084

    Re: Safe to swim in chlorine?

    I am locking this thread.

    dc2sofla's mind cannot "be put at ease". nor is he "confused".

    He doesn't know, but this subject has been drudged up 3-4 times yearly for the past 7 years and longer elsewhere. TFP'rs know the science is solid behind what we do and we know that it is perfectly safe. It is pointless to keep beating this dead horse.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

Posting Permissions

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