Chlorinated pools linked to summertime asthma flair-ups
As temperatures rise, those living with asthma face a whole new onslaught of potential triggers as they try and stay cool during the warm summer months. According to a recent study, one of these triggers can even come from going near swimming pools.
It's widely been accepted that the air surrounding highly-chlorinated indoor swimming pools can get saturated with chemical compounds that make it hard to breathe for asthma sufferers. Dr. Russell Betts, a chemical researcher based in Florida, reports that even outdoor pools, often considered a safer option because of their exposure to wind, can produce atmospheres that trigger asthma attacks.
In his study, Dr. Betts found that the first 10 centimeters of air above the water of a chlorinated swimming pool contains the chemical irritants that produce the "chlorine" smell associated with traditional pool sanitizers.
"Asthma flair-ups due to swimming pools are a result of the hypochlorous acid, the active ingredient that sanitizes a pool, reacting chemically with nitrogen containing compounds to generate a chemical called nitrogen trichloride," said Dr. Betts in a statement.
There are options for preventing asthma flair-ups when using swimming pools while still maintaining clean and sanitary water. New technologies have been developed using copper and silver ions that remove the need for water treatments using hypochlorous acid.
Dr. Bett's concluded in his study that children who swam regularly in traditionally chlorinated pools were three times more likely to develop complications from asthma than those who swam in pools cleaned without the use of hypochlorous acid.
There are other ways for asthma sufferers to stay cool this summer while avoiding flair-ups. Hypoallergenic air conditioners can not only cool a room down, but they can also remove triggers from the air while lowering moisture levels, which makes it easier to breath. Just because it is summer, people living with asthma don't need to suffer more than they do during other seasons.