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Thread: Bromates . . . bad for our health???

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    Bromates . . . bad for our health???

    Hi everyone!

    This is my first post. I hope I'm in the right place to ask this question. I've been lurking for a couple of weeks, reading as much as I can from this forum!! I must say, I'm amazed (so is DH) how much y'all know and how well the advise works! THANK YOU! I've already turned a green swamp of algae into crystal clear sparkling water. I know it will just get better and better as soon as I get my test kit on Tuesday. I'm dying to do the overnight test to see if all the shocking with the bleach worked. I've been told by a pool cleaner that I also have black algae.

    Anyhow, I'll chime back in with the final results and see if I've managed to kill the algae. I shocked for a week, hubby scrubbing with a ss brush twice daily. I had to trust our Leslie's results here and followed the shocking instructions from this website to a T. Even used the CYA of 18 to calculate the shock FC of 13 I needed. We'll see. I hope I did that right and leslie's was reliable.

    I want to add Borates to the pool but I have a question. Is it harmful to our health in anyway?? Please, someone who is quite chemical savvy, look at this article and tell me if I should be concerned. I already have a low thyroid situation, and I'm not sure I understand this article. Here: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/ar...vironment.aspx. Are they talking about the same borates we are putting in our pools? Can our skins absorb this from the pool water and cause havoc on our bodies? Just want to be sure. Thanks in advance

    This is what I started with 2 weeks ago:

    FC: 0
    TC: 0
    CH: 300
    TA: 120
    pH: 7.9
    CYA: 18
    TDS: 1000
    Acid Demand: 2
    Copper: 0
    Iron: 0
    Pho: 200

    I lowered pH to 7.2 with muriatic acid; then added 4 times the recommended amount of the HTH cal/hypo directions for my pool size to shock the living daylights out of it (recommended by pool cleaner). When the FC came down to 3ppm, then added the "pool calculated" amount of chlorine to keep it at shock level for a week while scrubbing 2 X daily. Will NEVER use cal/hypo again, only bleach. I anxious to see what my results are with the overnight test to see if I got the algae.

    I'm working on my signature . . . have to ask DH exactly what equipment we got. Will reply shortly.

    Julie

    17,000 gal, plaster, Dallas, TX

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    Re: Bromates . . . bad for our health???

    Hi, Julie,

    I can answer your question about borates in a round about sort of way.

    1. I am quite sure that, at the doses recommended, it is perfectly harmless.

    2. If you have concerns, you simply don't need to use it to have a sparkling pool. It shuld be considered an option to make your pool maintenance somewhat easier but there are many of us who have crystal clear pools without it.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Bromates . . . bad for our health???

    [I wrote this while Dave posted above]

    Julie,

    Bromates can be a by-product in a bromine pool and such pools have bromide in them as well, but this is completely different than borate. The former all have the element bromine in them while borate has the element boron. They are not at all related.

    As for borates, which is really mostly boric acid when in pool water, I describe the toxicity information in this post. It has minimal skin absorption so it is the oral route (i.e. swallowing/drinking pool water) that is the only concern. At the 50 ppm Borates level recommended on this forum, a small child would have to drink a tablespoon of pool water every day in order to get to the EPA margin of exposure limit which is a factor of 100 lower than what was seen as the level below "first symptoms" in experiments on dogs. In other words, they've got a lot of margin for error built-in for extra safety since experiments were never done directly on humans.

    If dogs were to drink cups of pool water every day, then they would get close to the level where first symptoms were seen (reduced testicle size). Our bodies are able to process and excrete/eliminate boron and in fact it's an essential nutrient. So it doesn't bioaccumulate and is only toxic if you continuously take in more boron faster than the body can eliminate it (or take a huge one-time dose which would be impossible to do drinking pool water).

    So I'd only be concerned if you've got dogs drinking pool water daily and you should either train them to drink from a water bowl instead or not use borates in the pool (or otherwise keep your dogs away from the pool).

    Richard
    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"

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    Pisces's Avatar
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    Re: Bromates . . . bad for our health???

    Hi, Julie...I'm hypothyroid with Hashimoto's (thank goodness I have good docs -very hard to find - who've helped me after YEARS find an appropriate med and solution..but that's another story altogether ) and I have 50 ppm borates in my pool. I read Mercola and try to take lots of it with a grain of salt. If it were up to him, we'd live in an isolated cave in an environment-proof bubble. We live in the real world. Yes there are toxins galore in the real world. I appropriately treat my condition and go on with life. Google "Mary Shomon" and read her blogs in About. Shoot me a PM if you want to. Thyroid stuff is hard to deal with, and I'm happy to talk to you about it. Dont' worry about the borates.

    Um...Mercola's talking about bromines....I know that's different from borates. Waterbear? Chemgeek?
    7,000 gal. IG gunite, SWG, PebbleSheen interior finish-Aqua Blue, 8' vanishing edge raised 16-jet overspill spa, 2 12" waterfalls, tan shelf with bubbler.
    Pentair equipment: Easy Touch 8, Intellichlor IC-40, Intelliflo VF 3050, 2.5 hp Whisperflo spa pump, 1 hp Whisperflo water feature pump, Quad 100 DE filter, Master Temp 400 heater, Legend Platinum Cleaner (3/4 hp pump). Autofill, TF-100 Test Kit w/salt and borate strips.

    Pisces Pool Build

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    Pisces's Avatar
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    Re: Bromates . . . bad for our health???

    Ahhh...ChemGeek answered as I was typing. Thanks!!
    7,000 gal. IG gunite, SWG, PebbleSheen interior finish-Aqua Blue, 8' vanishing edge raised 16-jet overspill spa, 2 12" waterfalls, tan shelf with bubbler.
    Pentair equipment: Easy Touch 8, Intellichlor IC-40, Intelliflo VF 3050, 2.5 hp Whisperflo spa pump, 1 hp Whisperflo water feature pump, Quad 100 DE filter, Master Temp 400 heater, Legend Platinum Cleaner (3/4 hp pump). Autofill, TF-100 Test Kit w/salt and borate strips.

    Pisces Pool Build

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    Re: Bromates . . . bad for our health???

    Julie,

    I forgot to say... Welcome to TFP!
    I'm glad the advice on this forum is helpful to you.

    Richard
    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"

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    Re: Bromates . . . bad for our health???

    Richard,

    I wish you would post a little quicker.....it could've saved me from looking so dumb!
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Bromates . . . bad for our health???

    Thank you ALL for your great replies! I understand so much more clearly thanks to duraleigh, chem geek, and Pisces. So . . . I may still use Borax . . . but I'll have to think about it some more.

    Chem geek: I think I understand your explanation, so now I have to decide if it's good for my situation. Thank you for your explanation.

    Pisces: I'll have to get with you about the thyroid issues, once I have our pool under control. Thank you for your time as well.

    duraleight: I thank you for your first response and reassurance that I shouldn't worry.

    Ya'll are awesome as I've said before. Please help me in any future problems! I'll keep you posted with my successes.

    Julie

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