Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Chlorine Dangers - Swimming Pools - Part 1

After reading these posts, you will know why we convert more chemical pools into ozonated pools every year.

Chemically treated pool water is simply bad for our health. Whether is is Chlorine, Bromine or any other mixture, these chemicals are not what you want entering your body.

As most of you all know, we (Boston Biosafety) not only deal with mold issues, we deal with health related pathogens. Keeping yourself healthy will not only extend your life, it will make your life more pleasurable.



Here is a link to a wonderful video by Doctor Mercola.

http://vitalvotes.com/QA/Chlorine-Alternative-for-Pool-or-Hot-Tub-2880.aspx



Chlorine and Your Lungs

Asthma is just one of the many forms of airway damage that can be caused by nitrogen trichloride.

This is the reason that swimming instructors are more than twice as likely to suffer frequently from sinusitis or sore throat, and more than three times as likely to have chronic colds.
Swimming pool employees are at a 40 percent greater risk for tightness of the chest, and are over 700 percent more likely to suffer breathlessness while walking.What's more, the chlorine in swimming pools can cause other problems as well. Pregnant women exposed to chlorinated pools can experience spontaneous abortions and stillbirths, and their children can have congenital malformations.
Chlorinated water may also increase your risk of BLADDER CANCER.

Here are a few health related illnesses associated with Chlorine.

* Birth defects
* Cancers
* Reproductive Disorders
* Immune System Breakdown

* Asthma


Chlorinated Water Can Affect Cancer Risk

Lifetime consumption of chlorinated tap water can more than double the risk of bladder and rectal cancers in certain individuals, two new studies conclude.
Both studies examined the lifetime water-consumption patterns, diets and lifestyles of over 2,200 middle-aged and elderly Iowans suffering from either bladder, colon, or rectal cancers. Those profiles were then compared with those of a pool of nearly 2,000 healthy 'controls'.
Recent research has suggested that chlorine reacts with naturally-found organic compounds in water to form what the study authors call "chlorination byproducts."

They say many of these byproducts are "mutagenic and/or carcinogenic.

The first study found that smoking men who drank chlorinated tap water for more than 40 years faced double the risk of bladder cancer compared with smoking men who drank nonchlorinated water.

Women who drank chlorinated water, on the other hand, had only slightly raised risks for bladder cancers, regardless of (their) smoking status.

The second study found that rates for rectal cancers for both sexes escalated with duration of consumption of chlorinated water.

Individuals on low-fiber diets who also drank chlorinated water for over 40 years more than doubled their risk for rectal cancer, compared with lifetime drinkers of nonchlorinated water.
Similar differences were also found between the risk patterns of chlorinated-water drinkers who exercised at least once a week, and those who exercised just once a month, or less. Experts have long recommended regular exercise as one means of reducing one's risk of rectal and other cancers.
The study found no link between the long-term consumption of chlorinated tap water and the incidence of colon cancer. This was not surprising, the researchers explain, since colon tumors have very different patterns of genesis and development compared with rectal tumors.
They speculate that the source of chlorinated tap water may help determine its potential to promote cancers.
Since surface water (such as that found in lakes and reservoirs) usually contains higher concentrations of organic compounds, the study authors say it is also more likely to contain higher levels of (potentially carcinogenic) chlorination byproducts, compared with water sourced from deep underground.
Epidemiology 1998;9(1):21-28, 29-35

Chlorine Dangers - Swimming Pools - Part 2

If you have read my other posts, you should know I do not think chlorine should be used anywhere around humans and pets for any reasons.

Although Chlorine has been used in swimming pools for decades, it does not mean it is safe. This is also true for Chloramines. Chloramines have to be removed from tap water that will be used in aquatiums, because it is toxic to fish! Yet they put it in our drinking water and say it is safe to drink....


Ocular and Respiratory Illness / Indoor Swimming Pools

On December 26, 2006, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) received a report of a child hospitalized in an intensive care unit for severe chemical epiglottitis and laryngotracheobronchitis after swimming in an indoor motel swimming pool.
The pool was inspected the same day and immediately closed by NDHHS because of multiple state health code violations. NDHHS initiated an outbreak investigation to identify additional cases and the cause of the illness. This report describes the results of that investigation, which indicated that 24 persons became ill, and the outbreak likely was the result of exposure to toxic levels of chloramines* (1,2) that had accumulated in the air in the enclosed space above the swimming pool. This outbreak highlights the potential health risks from chemical exposure at improperly maintained pools and the need for properly trained pool operators to maintain water quality.

The index patient was an otherwise healthy boy aged 6 years. The boy and his family attended a gathering with relatives at the motel on December 25, 2006, and he spent approximately 3 hours swimming in the pool. During this time, he had onset of coughing and dyspnea. He stopped playing in the pool but continued to cough, with one or two episodes of posttussive emesis. His parents had intended to spend the night at the motel but checked out early and returned to their home (approximately 15 miles away) the evening of December 25. During a period of 5 hours, the boy's condition worsened. He became agitated and more dyspneic and was taken to a local emergency department (ED) with erythematous eyes and nasopharynx, a barking cough, inspiratory stridor, expiratory wheezes, and respiratory distress.
The parents told the physician that multiple persons in their group had developed burning eyes, nasal burning, congestion, and cough. Physical examination of the boy indicated croupy cough, stridor at rest, and moderate retractions. Oxygen saturation level was 98% on room air; lungs were clear on auscultation, and no chest radiograph was performed. In the ED, he received a dexamethasone injection, 3 doses of racemic epinephrine, and cool-mist respiratory therapy. He was transferred to the pediatric intensive care unit in stable condition for observation, with a guarded prognosis and a diagnosis of upper airway obstruction from chemical epiglottitis and laryngotracheobronchitis; drug therapy was discontinued, and no additional treatments were administered. The boy's condition gradually improved, and he was discharged the next morning.
The attending physician recorded chlorine irritation as the cause of illness.

NDHHS attempted to contact by telephone all 110 motel guests registered during December 15--26 and reached 67 (61%). Among those persons and other guests staying with them, 24 had illness consistent with the case definition; 16 were male, and eight were female, with a median age of 39 years (range: 4--71 years). In addition to the case definition symptoms, the 24 reported other symptoms (e.g., headache, blurry vision, or dry mouth) (Table 1).
Of 24 persons reporting illness, 20 (83%) had entered the immediate pool area, and four (17%) had entered the courtyard only. Among the 20 who entered the immediate pool area, 14 reported exposure for >1 hour, and six reported exposure for 30--60 minutes; 14 (70%) had onset of illness within 2 hours of entering the area (Table 2). Of five persons who sought medical care, three reported swimming in the pool, and two had entered the immediate pool area only. Four of the five persons were children aged <16 align="left">
Reported by: T Safranek, MD, S Semerena, MBA, T Huffman, M Theis, Nebraska Dept of Health and Human Svcs. J Magri, MD, T Török, MD, Office of Workforce and Career Development; MJ Beach, PhD, Div of Parasitic Diseases, National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases; B Buss, DVM, EIS Officer, CDC.

Note:
Swimming is the most popular recreational activity among children in the United States and the second most popular exercise activity for all ages, with approximately 360 million visits to recreational water venues each year (4). Throughout the country, swimming-pool operators are responsible for proper maintenance of public pools and receive minimal public health oversight (5). This outbreak in Nebraska highlights the public health risk of improperly managed public pools. Long-term deterioration of the pool water quality was documented by the operator, who failed to maintain acceptable levels set by state regulations. Although NDHHS is responsible for overseeing the training certification of municipal pool operators, Nebraska state regulations do not require training or certification for operators of state-licensed, nonmunicipal public pools; therefore, the operator of this swimming pool was not required to be certified and had no verifiable training.
Chloramines can remain in the water or evaporate into the air above the pool, causing a pungent smell. Trichloramine is more volatile than monochloramine and dichloramine and is released into the air more readily. In addition, trichloramine causes more severe irritation and forms more rapidly in water with a low pH, such as the water in this pool (2). Methods to test chloramine levels in the air exist but are neither routine nor rapid. Therefore, environmental air sampling was not performed as part of this outbreak investigation, and the outbreak could not be specifically linked to elevated levels of chloramines in the air. However, several factors strongly suggest that high chloramine levels in the air were the cause of illness. First, the water's combined chlorine level of 4.2 ppm (at least eight times the acceptable level), together with the water's extremely low pH (3.95), was favorable for formation of high levels of chloramines, particularly trichloramine. Second, all 24 ill persons reported that their symptoms began after they entered the pool courtyard environment, and 70% of ill persons who entered the immediate pool area reported illness onset within 2 hours of entering the area. Finally, ventilation was inadequate during the outbreak; the windows of the pool enclosure were closed, and the ceiling exhaust fan had been turned off, presumably to retain a warmer temperature in the enclosed courtyard.
Chloramines are not considered health hazards in outdoor swimming pools. However, in the enclosed space around indoor pools, they can reach dangerous concentrations and pose a substantial health risk. High concentrations cause acute eye and respiratory tract irritation in swimmers and other persons in the indoor pool environment (1,2) and might also contribute to asthma and respiratory disease (6,7).
In 2004, two similar outbreaks associated with exposure to indoor motel swimming pools were reported in Illinois (8). Within minutes of entering the indoor pool environments, 72 persons, predominantly children, reported illness with high attack rates and symptoms consistent with chloramine exposure. Water-chemistry abnormalities and inadequate pool maintenance were cited as contributing factors; the investigators suggested that standard education be mandatory for all public pool operators (8).
The findings of this investigation are subject to at least two limitations. First, NDHHS was unable to reach all 110 registered hotel guests, and those who were contacted were asked to complete an online survey. This passive method of data collection likely reduced the number of respondents, possibly resulting in an underestimation of the extent of the outbreak. Second, the association between exposure and illness could not be quantified because illness was not assessed in persons who were not exposed.
Clinicians and public health professionals should be vigilant for outbreaks of illness related to recreational water exposure, including those involving exposure to chloramines; such outbreaks should be reported to health departments. Chloramine-related outbreaks are thought to be common but seldom reported (8,9). Although NDHHS certification for nonmunicipal pool operators is not required, NDHHS training courses are open to both municipal and nonmunicipal pool operators. To ensure the safety of indoor swimming-pool environments, pool owners should ensure that pool operators are trained to maintain water chemistry within acceptable ranges and ensure adequate ventilation to prevent accumulation of unsafe levels of chloramines and minimize the associated health risks. In addition, swimmers should report an unusually strong chlorine odor and any instance of pool-associated respiratory or ocular irritation to pool operators and refrain from entering the implicated pool area and swimming in the pool.
References
Héry M, Hecht G, Gerber JM, Gendre JC, Hubert G, Rebuffaud J. Exposure to chloramines in the atmosphere of indoor swimming pools. Ann Occup Hyg 1995;39:427--39.
Massin N, Bohadana AB, Wild P, Héry M, Toamain JP, Hubert G. Respiratory symptoms and bronchial responsiveness in lifeguards exposed to nitrogen trichloride in indoor swimming pools. Occup Environ Med 1998;55:258--63.
Nebraska Health and Human Services. Nebraska Administrative Code, title 178, chapter 2. Operation and management of public swimming pools. Available at http://www.hhs.state.ne.us/reg/t178.htm.
US Bureau of the Census. Statistical abstract of the United States: 1995. 115th ed. Washington, DC: US Bureau of the Census; 1995.
CDC. Surveillance data from swimming pool inspections---selected states and counties, United States, May--September 2002. MMWR 2003;52:513--6.
Thickett KM, McCoach JS, Gerber JM, Sadhra S, Burge PS. Occupational asthma caused by chloramines in indoor swimming-pool air. Eur Respir J 2002;19:827--32.
Bernard A, Carbonnelle S, Dumont X, Nickmilder M. Infant swimming practice, pulmonary epithelium integrity, and the risk of allergic and respiratory disease later in childhood. Pediatrics 2007;119:1095--103.
Bowen AB, Kile JC, Otto C, et al. Outbreaks of short-incubation ocular and respiratory illness following exposure to indoor swimming pools. Environ Health Perspect 2007;115:267--71.
CDC. Surveillance for waterborne disease and outbreaks associated with recreational water---United States, 2003--2004. MMWR 2006;55(No. SS-12).

* Disinfection by-products formed when free chlorine, a common disinfectant used in swimming pools, combines with nitrogenous human wastes (e.g., sweat, urine, or feces) in pool water.

† Combined chlorine = total chlorine -- free chlorine.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Chlorine Dangers - Swimming Pools - Part 3

Health risks from Chlorine exposure are being documented more and more every year.


Asthma in Children Associated w/ Chlorine Exposure
A new study published in the Journal Pediatrics found that children who spend a lot of time at indoor swimming pools during their early years are more prone to developing asthma, recurrent bronchitis, and other breathing problems as they grow older, compared to others who do not frequent indoor pools.The researchers believe that harmful gases trapped indoors from the chlorinated pools are to blame for the airway damage. The main culprit: trichloramine, or nitrogen trichloride, is created when chlorine reacts with ammonia, which can be found in the sweat and urine from swimmers.Pediatrics 2007 Jun;119(6):1095-103
A European Study


Methods: We have examined the relationships between the prevalences of wheezing by written or video questionnaire, of ever asthma, hay fever, rhinitis and atopic eczema as reported by the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) and the number of indoor chlorinated swimming pools per inhabitant in the studied centres. Associations with geoclimatic variables, the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and several other lifestyle indicators were also evaluated.

Results: Among children aged 13 to 14 years, the prevalence of wheezing by written questionnaire, of wheezing by video questionnaire and of ever asthma across Europe increased respectively by 3.39% (95% CI 1.96-4.81), 0.96% (95% CI 0.28 to 1.64) and 2.73% (95% CI 1.94-3.52) with an increase of one indoor chlorinated pool per 100,000 inhabitants. Similar increases were found when analyzing separately centres in Western or Northern Europe and for ever asthma in Southern Europe. In children aged 6 to 7 years (33 centres), the prevalence of ever asthma also increased with swimming pool availability (1.47%; 95% CI 0.21-2.74). These consistent associations were not found with other atopic diseases and were independent of the influence of altitude, climate and GDP per capita.

Conclusions: The prevalence of childhood asthma and availability of indoor swimming pools in Europe are linked through associations that are consistent with the hypothesis implicating pool chlorine in the rise of childhood asthma in industrialized countries.



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