Germs can be found almost anywhere, including in swimming pools and hot tubs. This means that proper cleaning and maintenance of your pool and hot tub are essential to preventing getting sick while swimming.
While public pools are typically treated with chlorine and other chemicals to ward off germs, that doesn't mean they are perfectly clean. In fact, a 2016 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 80 percent of public swimming pools had health and safety violations.
A number of viruses and bacteria – such as Shigella spp, Escherichia coli and Norovirus – also spread via swimming pools, causing gastroenteritis. Symptoms are similar to those usually associated with “food-poisoning”: vomiting, diarrhoea (sometimes bloody), fever and stomach cramps.
Norovirus can live in water for several months or possibly even years. Swimming venues that are not treated with chlorine can pose a particular risk since there are no chemicals to kill the stomach virus.
Germs like crypto, E. coli, and giardia are spread in public pools where chlorine and pH levels are too low. Symptoms of all three illnesses include diarrhea, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, dehydration, and stomach cramps.
Each year, about 15 to 20 outbreaks of diseases, including stomach bugs and diarrhea, are blamed on dirty public pools, according to the CDC. A quarter of theses outbreaks are caused by bacteria, parasites and viruses that could have easily been prevented had the pools been properly chlorinated and monitored.
Pools and lakes are full of germs that can make you sick. Some of the common issues you can get from swimming in a lake or pool are diarrhea, skin rashes, respiratory illness and swimmers ear. People typically contract one of these illnesses when they accidentally ingest contaminated water.
So, yes, since the bacteria that cause the common cold can enter water, you can catch a cold from swimming in a pool. Although the chlorine in the pool might kill some germs, it might not kill all of the bacteria.
"Swimming is not without some risk. You could develop pneumonia or other infections from inhaling water, for example. But there are no cases of completely normal healthy children who suddenly die because they went swimming days earlier," ACEP President Dr. Paul Kivela said in the news release.
The INSIDER Summary: Chlorine is commonly used to keep pool water clean. If can dry out your skin and hair by stripping away natural oils, according to dermatologists. However, dermatologists agree that chlorine is effective in cleaning pools to make them safe enough to swim in.
The odour you smell isn't actually the chlorine itself, but actually chemical compounds called chloramines. According to the American Chemistry Council, chloramines build up when the water hasn't been properly treated. They result from a combination of chlorine with sweat, oil and urine in the swimming pool.
Despite attempts to disinfect the pool, some pathogens may still lurk in the water. And research suggests that disinfectants may pose their own health hazards. Swimming in chlorinated pools, particularly indoor pools, might put kids at higher risk for developing respiratory illnesses, including asthma and hay fever.
It's understandable to be concerned about a chemical that dries out skin and hair and that has a smell that can linger long after a shower. But for the most part, experts say, there's no reason to worry. Chemicals like chlorine and bromine are added to swimming pools to fight germs.
Official research has confirmed that you – the dedicated, wonderful Masters swimmer – are more likely to avoid a cold than your lazy, non-sporty friends this winter!
The CDC recommends a free chlorine level of 1 ppm for your pool and 3 ppm for your hot tub. But, the pH of your pool matters, too. Chlorine only works well if the pH of your pool falls within the right range. If the pH of your pool is too high (above 8), chlorine is much less effective at killing germs.
Most swimming pools and spas are treated with toxic chlorine, cyanuric acids, stabilizers, and other chemicals known to be carcinogens. As these chemicals interact with organic compounds, such as sweat, lotions, and urine, they form toxic byproducts that can be extremely harmful.
Pools are cleaner!
Can that be said about the beach? Especially for younger swimmers or those with skin sensitivities, pools are the better option. As well, pools are clear from the plant life, pollution and other messes that you may find in the ocean.
Should the green be due to pollen, there may be little to do in the way of minimizing the discoloration short of erecting a building around the pool. Fortunately, assuming there are no allergies to the pollen, it is safe to swim in a pool with that as the cause for green water.
Even if you showered in the morning, this doesn't mean you are clean. Chances are you have gone to the bathroom at least once throughout the day. When people enter pools without showering, their bacteria, sweat, and lotions interact with the chlorine, and ultimately render it less effective.
Showering After Exiting the Pool
Showering will get rid of the chlorine and any foreign agents you may have picked up from the pool. Make sure to rinse your hair and wash your swimsuit after you swim. Showering after you swim will keep your skin from becoming dry.
Chlorine, either solid or liquid, is a pesticide used in pools to destroy germs, including those from feces, urine, saliva and other substances. But excessive exposure to chlorine can cause sickness and injuries, including rashes, coughing, nose or throat pain, eye irritation and bouts of asthma, health experts warn.
Too much exposure to chlorine dries out the skin and causes irritation and itchiness. Continuous exposure to chlorine over several years can result in premature aging and can affect the skin's health tremendously. Rashes It is common to get rashes when exposed to chlorine for long periods of time.
If you have red eyes, an irritated throat, or a cough after swimming in a pool, it's probably caused by something called chloramines. These form when a chemical used to disinfect the pool mixes with things people bring into it: urine, feces, sweat, and dead skin.