Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Reason to Explore Pool Chlorine Alternatives

An article appearing at recently caught my eye. It is relevant for any lodging establishment that has a swimming pool. Researchers in Belgium studied the effects of swimming in outdoor pools regularly from a young age and found a strong link to asthma. Previously the same researchers found that indoor pools may also increase the risk of asthma in children. It is thought the chlorine fumes floating around the surface of the pool may help to trigger the condition by irritating the upper airways.

Researchers at Catholic University in Louvain, Brussels, Belgium examined 847 secondary school pupils with an average age of 15. Children who swam for the equivalent of one hour a week for 10 years, more than 500 hours in total, were five times more likely to have the wheezing condition than children who never swam in outdoor pools. Those with a predisposition to allergies, as shown by measurements taken from their blood, were up to 10 times more likely to have asthma if they swam for more than 500 hours in an outdoor pool.

The research team also found that children having regularly attended an outdoor pool before the age of seven were more likely to be allergic to cats or dust mites than those who had never attended an outdoor pool so young.

Granted, your lodging establishment probably is not seeing the same children over and over for years at a time. Still, it does make one pause and wonder how our industry is contributing to the health problems of our children.

Have you tried alternatives to chlorine in your pool? There are a number of less harmful solutions out there. I would love to hear from you regarding your experiences with chlorine alternatives.

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