New Chlorine scare.

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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My Dad, long since passed, use to say, "Don't believe anything you read and only half of what you see".

I have little trouble dismissing virtually every latest health article saying "this will kill you". (Remember when we were all gonna' die from eating butter and that margarine was our only hope of remaining alive?)

It's the "half of what you see" part that I struggle with......I can never figure out which half to believe. :shock: :shock:
 

woodyp

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Apr 17, 2010
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Eggs and grease finally killed dear old Grand Dad at 96................I guess they were right all along.
 

Beamup

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Aug 28, 2010
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Boston, MA
The article grossly overstates the findings of the paper. The paper found that certain biomarkers were elevated after swimming. It did NOT find that there was an association between swimming and cancer, nor did they even discuss what the expected effect of a change in those biomarkers, of the measured size, would be. "Swimming in chlorinated pools can lead to cancer" is far, far beyond what the science in the paper would justify.

A more proper conclusion would be that there is an indication that an increased risk might exist, at some unknown level, and this would have to be confirmed by other work (e.g. epidemiology looking for an association between swimming and cancer, animal studies). Given how preliminary the result is, the plausible protective effects of getting more exercise by swimming, and the known health risks of inadequate sanitation, this can't credibly be considered sufficient reason to do ANYTHING yet.
 

teapot

In The Industry
Jul 25, 2009
574
London and France
The title of the full article explains the whole premise. It is the byproducts of chlorination, not the chlorine par say, I have been posting about this on various threads and as duraleigh says it is indoor pools with poor ventilation not outdoor pools run by TFP members!
The problem is that the byproducts (known carcinogens) are at and just above the water, right where your nose and mouth are, They also cling to the water so require a breeze to shift them. Entire pool buildings have collapsed round the world due to ironwork being attacked and breaking under the chemical attack from byproducts of chlorination. This is due to poor air circulation in the buildings but air circulation has also collapsed due to the effect of withrawing these THM's.

It is a serious issue as young children and babies have not yet formed the membranes to stop these byproducts attacking the body and causing scoliosis of the spine later in life.

As for sitting in a bromated hot tub with your head just clear of the water, not me!

As ever the private outdoor pools operated in the way that TFP proposes with very low combined chlorine levels and low bather loads should not cause undue concern.
 

duraleigh

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Entire pool buildings have collapsed round the world due to ironwork being attacked and breaking under the chemical attack from byproducts of chlorination.
For us everyday folks, you are talking about rust, I assume.
 

teapot

In The Industry
Jul 25, 2009
574
London and France
Not just rust,

"The atmosphere in health clubs and swimming pool buildings are amongst the most corrosive
environments for a building structure, especially when stainless steel materials are used. In
1985, 12 people were killed in Uster, Switzerland when the concrete roof of a swimming pool
collapsed after only thirteen years. The Federal Materials Testing Institute, based in Duebendorf,
Switzerland, and the Federal Materials Research and Testing Institute of Berlin concluded that
the collapse was the result of chloride induced Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC). Every year there are serious structural failures reported for European for swimming pool buildings, in addition there can also be corrosion of ducts in HVAC systems, acid erosion of concrete, damage to electrical circuits, such as the telephone system and computers which costs the industry millions of Euros every year".
 

dmanb2b

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Apr 4, 2009
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NY
Re: Chlorine can cause cancer?

Plausible... sure, but I'd be more interested in understanding their "healthier" alternative. You have to love these studies, but IMHO they come up short. Go ahead and reduce your chlorine levels and hope everyone who is in your pool has showered, taken their potty break...etc :hammer:

Bottom line, although chlorine/bromine/baq... etc may cause some elevated health risk it's likley a better alternative than swimming in non-sanitized pool. To me the less risky alternate is to not use a pool.

Anyways...just my opinion and not necessarily that of the overall TFP community :goodjob: .
 

Ohm_Boy

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May 1, 2007
1,344
Orlando, FL
G

Guest

Re: Chlorine can cause cancer?

I wish I had a dollar for everytime some research scheme said coffee was bad for you (then good for you). I would be a rich man... Lets see... I made it through with no set belts, no child car seat, lead paint, power lines, coffee and anything else that was bad thirty years ago. I wonder how much chlorine I have consumed from my tap water...
 
G

Guest

Re: Chlorine can cause cancer?

oh ya, Stray RF from my cell phone. Forgot about that one.
 

Cherie

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Jul 23, 2008
506
Wylie, Texas
I can hear the EPA knocking at our door already!

Perhaps they should have stressed the issue of not urinating in the pool and not using all the unnecessary chemicals that these pools are laden with, rather than trying to make it sound like it is the use of chlorine in the pools that is causing the cancer!! I'm meeting more and more people in stores who are purchasing bleach for their pools - so the BBB method is alive and well!!

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id ... _article=1
 

dmanb2b

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Apr 4, 2009
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Re: Chlorine can cause cancer?

salp said:
oh ya, Stray RF from my cell phone. Forgot about that one.
Don't forget the Bluetooth plugged in your ear :goodjob:
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
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Re: I can hear the EPA knocking at our door already!

That article is rather misleading. The science that was actually done is not conclusive, and does not support the statements made in the article. The actual science was suggestive that there might be some risk, but they neither proved any risk nor got any meaningful indication of the degree of risk. Really all it says is that there is a need for further research.

It should also be noted that they were studying indoor commercial pools which have several orders of magnitude higher risk for chlorine byproducts (the supposed source of the cancer risk) than outdoor residential pools do.
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
WARNING: TECHNICAL POST (skip if not interested)

There are three somewhat related papers all released around the same time and I'll write about each below. Do not be scared by this. Outdoor residential pools are low in bather load, are generally exposed to UV in sunlight, have good air circulation, and use CYA in the water. All of these factors should lower DBPs by a huge amount (at least a 10x reduction if not more).

Genotoxic Effects in Swimmers Exposed to Disinfection By-Products in Indoor Swimming Pools
For this genotoxicity paper, the most amazing thing is that they did not use a control of people swimming in a pool without chlorine or doing similar physical exercise. Other studies (see below) at least measured disinfection by-products (DBPs) in the water and air and in exhaled breath before and after swimming, but measuring other body chemistry factors without using a control does not separate out exposure to pool air from exercise. Nevertheless, it's probably reasonable to assume that their genotoxic results are due to DBP exposure -- it just would be better to have a control to confirm this since increased metabolic rates also increase genotoxicity. That's why very low calorie diets lead to long life extension (in animals, anyway) since metabolism increases the levels of the body's own mutagenic chemicals including free radicals. The authors did mention other studies showing more direct correlations.

This study showed the same result as the last one below in terms of measured THMs being much higher in breath after swimming. It should be noted that chloroform is not genotoxic, but the other THMs (all of which have bromine) are genotoxic and that the pools studied have higher bromide levels in their fill water. Swimming was not associated with DNA damage.

What's in the Pool? A Comprehensive Identification of Disinfection By-Products and Assessment of Mutagenicity of Chlorinated and Brominated Swimming Pool Water
More details of a related study are here at CREAL. The actual published paper of this additional study is at here.

They used the DPD test to determine Free Chlorine (FC), monochloramine, dichloramine, trichloramine. However, Dr. Ernest "Chip" Blatchley's work using MIMS technology has shown that DPD does not correctly measure chloramines. Some form of chlorourea will show up as dichloramine, for example. The study noted that a smaller number of disinfection by-products (DBPs) is found in studies of outdoor pools, most likely due to the greater air circulation and exposure to sunlight in outdoor pools as many DBPs are volatile and photolyzed (broken down by the UV in sunlight). Their average chlorine level was 1.28 ppm (most likely with no CYA) while monochloramine was 0.29 and dichloramine (which is more likely to be a chlorourea) was 0.38 for the chlorinated pool. To their credit, the study does note "as DPD analysis of chloramines cannot differentiate organic from inorganic forms of these compounds, it would be possible that these levels are overestimated by the occurence [sic] of organic chloramines in the swimming pool waters." They then refer to one of my favorite studies, the breakpoint chlorination model of Jafvert and Valentine (1992). They also refer to membrane-introduction mass spectrometry (MIMS) and note similar levels as found by Blatchley, though the papers I've seen of his have shown much lower true dichloramine levels.

The mutagenecity of the swimming pool water was similar to that of treated drinking water. It's toxicity to microorganisms is higher (even though samples were dechlorinated) so the highest mutagenic dose for the pool water is limited compared to that of drinking water.

Short-Term Changes in Respiratory Biomarkers after Swimming in a Chlorinated Pool
There was a related study by the same main authors here. Amazingly, though the researchers measured lung biomarkers before and after swimming in an indoor chlorinated pool, they did not measure the same thing in swimming in a non-chlorinated pool (i.e. they didn't have controls) to make sure that it wasn't the exercise of swimming that increased the biomarkers, though the tests for DBPs were still relevant (unless the body were to produce those which is highly unlikely). For example, they did measure the four trihalomethanes (THMs), chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane and bromoform in the participant's breath before and after swimming. They also measured Free Chlorine (FC), THMs, mono, di and trichloramine in the pool water. In this study as well they used the DPD test for chloramines. Indoor air was also sampled for THMs.

The average FC level was 1.17 mg/L and I would presume that there was no Cyanuric Acid (CYA) in the water. The average dichloramine reading (they imply that the monochloramine reading was similar) was 0.43 mg/L.

The result was that the THMs in exhaled breath rose by a factor of 7 on average after swimming.

CONCLUSION
Remember that these are indoor high bather load pools. The amount of DBPs in virtually every study made is correlated with bather load. Also, lower levels are found in outdoor pools than indoor pools most likely due to greater air circulation and exposure to the UV in sunlight, but also for pools that use CYA the nitrogen trichloride level should be lower (in theory, maybe even the THMs to some degree). Finally, the worst DBPs tend to be the brominated organics (including THMs) so a chlorinated pool will tend to have lower quantities of such DBPs than a bromine pool unless the fill water is high in bromide (as in the pools in their studies in Barcelona, Spain) or one is using sodium bromide algaecide (which essentially turns the pool into a bromine pool).

I believe the easiest way for commercial/public high bather load pools to minimize the DBPs is to use a lower active chlorine level by using CYA in the water to achieve the equivalent of 0.1 to 0.2 ppm FC with no CYA and to also use supplemental oxidation (UV, ozone, non-chlorine shock MPS, enzymes). In fact, these go hand-in-hand since the lower active chlorine level gives precursor molecules more time to be exposed to the supplemental oxidizers and also gives them more time to volatize before reacting with chlorine.

By comparison, the FC level relative to the CYA level proposed on this forum has an active chlorine level that is well over 10 times lower (equiv. FC with no CYA of 0.06 - 0.1) than found in the studied pools (FC of 1.2 with no CYA). The bather load is also likely to be at least 5-10 times lower. More detailed calculations on this are in this post.

Richard
 

StuartPool

In The Industry
Apr 20, 2010
61
Re: I can hear the EPA knocking at our door already!

"who suggested the problems caused by a reduction in levels of disinfectant could be offset if swimmers showered before taking a dip, wore bathing caps and refrained from urinating"

This is my favorite quote in the article. Really why I dont like to swim in a public pool lol

hello again all. Nice to visit you again
 

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