Thursday, January 15, 2015

If you like swimming in pools, don't read this

A new study from journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters suggests pharmaceuticals and chemicals from personal care products end up in swimming pools, possibly interacting with chlorine to produce disinfection byproducts with unknown properties and health effects.

Chlorination is used primarily to prevent pathogenic microorganisms from growing. Previous research has shown that many constituents of urine including urea, uric acid, and amino acids, interact with chlorine to produce potentially hazardous disinfection byproducts in swimming pools. However, chemicals from pharmaceuticals and personal care products, or PPCPs, also could be interacting with chlorine, producing potentially harmful byproducts.

Of the 32 chemicals investigated, the researchers detected three: N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide, known as DEET, the active ingredient in insect repellants; caffeine; and tri(2-chloroethyl)-phosphate (TCEP), a flame retardant. Because there are literally thousands of pharmaceuticals, this is just a small subset of compounds that could be present in swimming pools.

Bonnie: There is no way of getting around it. The amount of pathogens and toxicity you are exposed to in a pool, especially public pool, is astonishgly high

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