14 Risks of Swimming in a Chlorinated Pool

Risks of Swimming in a Chlorinated PooChlorinate in a Pool Lately?

Have you experienced any of these symptoms while swimming in a chlorinated pool?

  • Dry skin
  • Green hair
  • Clogged ears
  • Stinky clothes and skin
  • Trouble breathing

These outward symptoms are nothing compared to the actual physical damage chlorine can cause to your health. I’ll share 14 risks of swimming in a chlorinated pool below.

Swimming is a beloved activity to many, including myself — but is it worth risking your health?

Swimming in A Lake Never Dried Out My Skin

As a child we lived near Lake Isabella, where we swam, skied, and camped as often as we could. I spent so much time in the water that I earned the nickname “Farrah Fish.” My long golden blonde hair and the popularity of Farrah Fawcett (especially in Charlie’s Angels) was the source of the first part of the moniker. I always assumed “Fish” was because I swam so much — but in retrospect, I suppose it could have been because my last name was Sammons. But that is a different story.

The point is — I have always loved to swim. Nothing has changed.

In all my years of swimming in a lake, I never experienced any adverse reactions from the water — though I did get sun poisoning a time or two. However, I began to notice that when I would swim in chlorinated swimming pools, it would dry out my skin, turn my blonde hair green, and cause my ears to clog up and kind of hurt, diminishing their ability to function at full auditory capacity. Or said simply, it affected my ability to hear well.

But diminished hearing is not the only adverse affect of too much chlorine.

14 Risks of Swimming in a Chlorinated Pool

It is interesting to note that according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), “decreased hearing” is one of the symptoms listed from excessive chlorine exposure. [1] But that is not all.

Here is a list of 13 other dangers of chlorine exposure according to the NIH [2]:

  1. acute pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs)
  2. damaged airways (breathing problems)
  3. obliterative bronchiolitis (popcorn lung)
  4. visual and central nervous system impairment (vision and brain malfunction)
  5. impaired balance (with eyes open and eyes closed)
  6. delayed simple and choice reaction times (slowed reaction time)
  7. impaired color discrimination (reduced ability to see color differences)
  8. impaired visual field performance (eyesight problems)
  9. decreased grip strength (weakened strength)
  10. delayed blink reflex latency (also seen in dementia patients)
  11. impaired cognitive performance (can’t think well)
  12. increased adverse mood states (emotional disturbances)
  13. reduction in forced vital capacities (life is ebbing away)

How About A Glass of Chlorine?

It always amazes me when I write about these things that chlorine is mandated in our water supply. Interestingly, when I drink chlorinated water for a prolonged period of time, my ears develop the same sensation as when I swim in a chlorinated pool. But that too is a different topic.

Read more here:

Swimming in a Chlorinated Pool Makes Me Feel Yucky.

Back to my story: I love to swim, but swimming in a chlorinated pool makes me feel yucky — and it smells terrible. It is like taking a chemical bath with the potential to trigger any of the above adverse side effects, especially if there are inherited weaknesses in one of those areas.

This is why I try to avoid regular exposure to the 14 risks of swimming in a chlorinated pool. And recently I have been a been able to enjoy an alternative.

Not long ago, we moved from our 3 bedroom home on Lake Hartwell — right on the deep water. The view was amazing, and I could swim when ever I wanted — without toxic chlorine. It was a dream come true. But our landlords needed to sell the house and gave us 30-days notice to move.

The Saltwater Solution to a Chlorinated Pool

After hemming and hawing and searching and praying — we decided to downsize to a one bedroom one bath apartment. I wrote about that  here and here. Part of the reason we chose a small apartment was because the complex had a saltwater pool.

Saltwater pools are a simple, safe, and effective alternative to chlorinated pools. It is so nice to be able to enjoy the pool without all the weary side effects of chlorine. And my body knows. My skin is always soft and silky after a swim. And there is no overpowering chlorine smell. But best of all — my ears give me no trouble after swimming for hours.

It turns out it is not that difficult (or expensive) to convert a pool to saltwater and avoid the risks of swimming in a chlorinated pool

And you can actually set up your own saltwater pool from scratch — without breaking the bank. Learn more. 

Risks of Swimming in a Chlorinate Pool

If you are still using a chlorinated pool — you have now been warned about the risks of swimming in a chlorinated pool. And I’ve given you the saltwater solution. Learn more here. 

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[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10735517

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10735517



Reformed Health exists so you can take control of your own health and be all that God has designed you to be. The information shared on Reformed Health is the sole opinion of the author and is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness. None or our claims have been evaluated by the FDA or any other government organization. We are not medical doctors, nor do we have any medical doctors on staff. If you are having a health emergency, please call 911, contact your doctor, or visit a local emergency room. Always consult your doctor before engaging in any new exercise regime.

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.


© 2017 Mischelle Sandowich
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10 thoughts on “14 Risks of Swimming in a Chlorinated Pool

  1. Great article. We stopped swimming at our local Y because of the high chlorine levels in the pool. Your eyes would burn just being in the pool area. Saltwater pools are the way to go.

  2. My family loves swimming in Lake Champlain at our lake house in VT, good to know about some of the dangers of chlorine, thanks for sharing!

  3. I hate the chlorine at pools too – my kids complain so much. We have a few friends with pools who use saltwater system instead and it is so much better!

  4. I am loving the fact that more people are turning to salt water pools instead of chlorinated. My mom is from an island but we lived in the land locked middle of the US and so growing up, I never saw her swimming. She always told me she was allergic to the chlorination. The moment we would go to the beach, she would enjoy the water like I’d never seen.

    I am thankful that you are bringing up the health risks of basically a chemical bath. It is something we all need to be aware of.

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