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Chloramines: Take action against it in public pools

Pool owners should be aware of chloramines and take measures to prevent its formation.
Aquatic facility operators should be aware of chloramines and take appropriate measures to prevent them.

Aquatic facility operators need to be informed on chloramines and impact on the health of swimmers and staff.

Chlorine is used to prevent the spread of germs in pools. Chloramines form and produce a distinct smell when chlorine is exposed to air or other elements such as skin cells, urine, feces, deodorant, dirt, and sweat. Further, chloramines in water can turn into gas in the surrounding air. Indoor pools are more at risk of developing the chemical compound due to common cases of poor ventilation.

According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those inhaling or coming into contact with chloramines in aquatic facilities can lead to negative health effects in swimmers and others in the swimming area. This includes nasal irritation, coughing, and wheezing. It can also trigger asthma attacks.

The CDC recommends the following measures:

  • Do not allow children to swim if they have diarrhea;
  • Toilets should be used prior to going into water;
  • Shower before swimming;
  • Use a bathing cap;
  • Do not urinate in water;
  • Ensure children take washroom breaks; and
  • Check diapers regularly and change them in the designated area.
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