What’s the best choice for the residential pool owner, a chlorine swimming pool or a Baquacil pool system?
Lets look into the advantages and disadvantages of using a typical chlorine pool treatment system vs a Baquacil maintained pool system. Key factors to consider are; safety, convenience, enjoyment and costs. We’ll review the typical chemicals used in each system and their effectiveness, water quality and possible risks.
Lets take a look at the typical home pool, the main component in the system is chlorine, followed by stabilizer and an algaecide. When chlorine is added to water you get a reaction which forms hypochlorous acid, the active killing form of chlorine. The chlorine molecule kills microorganisms by penetrating the cell walls and destroying the inner enzymes and processes.
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The hypochlorous molecule continues this process until it combines with an organic compound to become chloramine at which time it becomes de-activated itself.
It is widely accepted that chlorine is a hazardous product, the chloramines which form in pool water when chlorine combines with organic matter are especially troublesome.
The following is a list of some of the documented dangers of chlorine
# Chlorine can often cause skin irritation by destroying the body’s supply of vitamin E and polyunsaturated fatty acids, and can also cause generalized redness and itchiness of the eyes.
# There is a slight increase in respiratory problems; asthma in particular shows the highest percentage increase in children who spend a lot of time in chlorinated pools.
# Chlorine has been associated in some studies with cancer of the larynx, esophagus, breast, bowels and especially the bladder.
# There is evidence that excessive chlorine levels in the body are responsible for elevated cases of heart disease.
Chlorine is still the most popular means of sanitizing swimming pool water in the US. It does an excellent job sanitizing water, but it does so at a price. Chlorine is a very caustic, corrosive chemical and it is effective because it attacks anything organic. Unfortunately, it also attacks the skin, hair, and eyes of the humans swimming in it.
Chlorine is toxic and hazardous to handle, ingest and especially breathe.
Chloramines, a by-product of chlorine and organic waste, are known carcinogens. Unfortunately with the standard chlorine pool there is no practical way of preventing chloramines from forming in chlorinated swimming pools.
Ongoing research suggests that children who swim frequently in chlorinated pools may have increased risks of developing allergies or asthma.
A Belgian study, published in 2003, showed that an irritant released when chlorinated water reacts with urine, sweat or other organic matter from swimmers increased the risk of asthma among children who regularly swam in public pools. This irritant, trichloramine, is believed to damage the cellular barrier that protects the lungs. Blood samples showed elevated trichloramine levels even among individuals who sat at the side of pools but didn’t swim.