Hot Tubs, Spas, Swimspas, Exercise Pools

Latest Research Links Chlorine and Cancer Risk

By , September 17, 2010

Minimize Pool Chemicals to Reduce Cancer Risk

Recently reported research finds a link between pool chemicals like chlorine and pre-cancerous changes in human subjects. The researchers argue that the positive benefits of swimming can be retained by reducing the health risks of pool water.

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The Research Reported by CREAL

The Barcelona-based Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL) reported the research to the public in its September 13 news release .  CREAL says “Swimming in chlorinated indoor pools can cause genotoxic effects (DNA damage) and respiratory effects. ”This research was first published in several installments in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal,  and is based on work by an international consortium of scientists led by Manolis Kogevinas, associated with various hospitals and universities. The researchers collected blood, urine and exhaled air samples from 49 non-smoking adult volunteers before and after swimming 40 minutes in an indoor chlorinated pool.  They measured the concentrations of disinfection byproducts (DBPs) like trihalomethanes (e.g., like chloramines, a byproduct of chlorine) in exhaled breath and correlated them with “biomarkers” for biological changes that might be associated with pre-cancerous changes in cell tissues. The swimmers’ exhalation after swimming contained 7 times the concentration of trihalomethanes than before swimming.  This was associated with changes in the biomarkers that “support potential genotoxic effects of exposure to DBPs from swimming pools.  The positive health effects gained by swimming could be increased by reducing the potential health risks of pool water.”