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Bathing - pure pleasure?

Who wouldn't enjoy a few lengths of the swimming pool in the morning? Going to the swimming pool with the family on a hot summer day or relaxing in the hot tub after a sauna? Water creates harmony, well-being and relaxation - characteristics which have long been recognised and which are successfully applied in numerous water treatments.
Burning eyes, inflamed mucus membranes, itchy skin and much more are the price some people have to pay. The human body reacts to the chemical supplements added to the water in increasingly high concentrations - such as chlorine (defined in the dictionary as a poisonous gas which combines with nearly all elements).

Swimming pools: Harmful swimming fun?

In public swimming baths, it is mandatory to add, for example, chlorine to the water to disinfect it. This kills germs and therefore prevents infectious diseases. During this process, the chlorine in the water reacts with sweat, hair and flakes of skin. This produces what are known as chloramines and trihalogen methanes, including chloroform.

What is chlorine gas?

Chlorine gas is a gas which is produced underwater and escapes through the surface of the water. The gas is primarily absorbed through the lungs, but also through the skin. Residues of chlorine gas can be found in the blood. High doses can lead to feeling unwell, faintness, an irritating cough and struggling for breath. It is also suspected of causing cancer.
According to a Greenpeace study, increase concentrations of chlorine were found in the blood of frequent swimmers. Therefore, trihalogen methanes represent an increased risk for frequent swimmers and pool staff.

However, there are still no statutory limits in Germany. There are plans for "Regulations on swimming and bathing pools" which will set guideline values for trihalogen methanes and chloramines. The guidelines suggest that the chloramine value should not exceed 0.2 mg chloramine per litre and the trihalogen methane value (measured in chloroform) 0.02 mg/l.
In the future, swimming pools which do not meet these guidelines must be refitted or upgraded within five years.
Open-air pools will not be affected by the regulations.

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