Expatica news

More evidence of pool chlorine dangers

10 December 2004

BRUSSELS — A new study published in a prestigious US scientific journal appears to confirm concerns raised by a Belgian researcher earlier this year about the danger of chlorine in swimming pools, it emerged on Friday.

The study, published in the December edition of Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), found that there appears to be a link between regular swimming pool visits and respiratory problems among children.

The research, carried out in Sweden, confirms the findings of a January study by Belgian toxicologist Alfred Bernard of the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL).

Bernard said that chlorine was to blame for many of the respiratory problems children in Belgium suffer from.

Specifically, the culprit was found to be trichloramine, a “very aggressive gas” produced by contact between chlorine and residue from urine, dead skin flakes that fall off when people swim or saliva present in the water.

Professor Bernard warned that for many children, the harm has already been done.

He went on to say that many youngsters would suffer from incurable pulmonary lesions if public authorities did not take action for example, installing proper ventilation systems.

Although Bernard’s findings were questioned at the time in Belgium, they have received considerable support abroad, including most recently by the Swedish study published in EHP.

“This certified report is very interesting, because it is in dependent of the work I have conducted in Belgium,” Bernard, who collaborated with the Swedish researchers, told La Derniere Heure newspaper.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news