The LATimes reports on recent studies showing potential concerns from disinfectants in swimming pools.

We’ve known for a long time that disinfection byproducts (DPBs) can be problematic, and many cities now treat drinking water using methods that minimize their formation. It’s also well known that these compounds, if in tap water, can enter the bloodstream during bathing. So these new reports are not at all surprising.

I’d say it’s time to start looking at alternative methods of disinfecting swimming pools. One important question is, do we need to continue using very high doses of chlorine (or bromine) to keep swimming pools safe? Maybe where public health is good, such is not the case. It used to be thought that the more chlorine, the better, for drinking water disinfection. That idea came about back during the revolution in public health, which helped rid us of various epidemics. Only over time did we become aware of the downside of disinfection, DPBs, and take steps to reduce our exposure to them in drinking water.  It might very well be that we need to take similar action with swimming pools.


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