Swimming in the indoor or outdoor pool is a healthy form of exercise and recreation for many people. However, research has linked compounds arising from the chlorine disinfection of the pool to respiratory problems, including asthma, in avid swimmers. Currently, researchers report on ACS ‘ Environmental Science & Technology It has been found that using a complete form of disinfection, known as copper-silver ionization (CSI), can reduce the by-products and toxicity of chlorine pool water cells.
Absorption of pool water is required to disable harmful pathogens. Although effective disinfectants, chlorine can react with organic matter and compounds introduced by swimmers, such as those in sweat, urine, sunscreens, and cosmetics, to produce by-product disinfection products (DBPs). Epidemiological studies have linked DBP to health problems, including respiratory problems, bladder cancer, and complications of pregnancy and birth.
One way to reduce the amount of chlorine added is by using complementary disinfection strategies, such as CSI, which involves the production of antimicrobial copper and silver ions by electrolysis. Susan Richardson and her colleagues wonder whether using CSI along with reduced chlorine levels can eradicate pool water while also reducing DBP formation and toxicity.
To find out, researchers collected water samples from two pools treated with CSI and chlorine – one outside and one indoors. They detected 71 DBPs, some of which were counted for the first in the pool.
In experiments with mammalian cells in the laboratory, the team found that indoor pool samples were more toxic to cells than outdoor samples, presumably because outdoor DBP could evaporate in the open air or absorb sunlight over time. In indoor pool water, the lowest levels of DBP formation and toxicity are observed when the lowest amount of chlorine is used in combination with CSI. To control factors such as swimming volume, temperature and pH, researchers also conducted experiments in a simulated pool with added solutions that mimicked human body fluids, and they observed similar results.
These data suggest that using CSI with lower chlorine levels can be a way to make swimming safer, researchers say.
References: 17 February 2021, Environmental Science & Technology.
DOI: 10.1021 / acs.est.0c06287
The authors claim funding from the Magellan University of South Carolina Scholarship University, Guangxi Medical University Training Program for Distinguished Bachelors and the National Science Foundation.