October 23, 2009

Cancer and Swimming

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Almost all people who swim regularly know the risks of swimming in public swimming pools. The high chlorine content in the pools can cause a number of health problems, which include minor irritations of the skin, eye, and swimmers ear. However, swimming pools pose a greater threat to general health and well being. Recent studies have shown that the high chlorine content in swimming pools can cause still birth in pregnant women who go swimming regularly.

An American college has recently published a study that has revealed that more than sixty percent of people who swim regularly in swimming pools have complained of exercise-induced bronchial constriction after only minutes of swimming in a chlorinated pool. Even with the standard levels of chlorine, it is a great risk to expose yourself to chlorinated water. People who have had absolutely no breathing problems earlier, also complain of breathing problems after they have had a swim in the pool. Children, especially, are at a very high risk. They are likely to develop asthma if they swim in a pool for even one hour everyday throughout the year.

Types of Cancers

There are also many types of cancers, especially cancers in the rectal region, which can be caused due to swimming pools. The mixture of chlorine, perspiration from other swimmers, skin cells, and urine create chemical compounds that are carcinogenic. Trihalomethanes, the compound that is present in the swimming pools, is very harmful and can potentially cause cancer.

It has been found that people who bathe regularly in highly chlorinated water are at an 83% higher risk of developing cancer. Since swimming pool water is chlorinated, the same applies to it. Swimming pools therefore, pose great implications for those who swim regularly. Competitive swimmers have been found to have eroded teeth enamels. This too is caused by the chlorinated water of the pools. Since the chlorinated water turns acidic, it has this affect on the hard tooth enamel. The effect that this water might have on skin can only be imagined.

The levels of potential cancer-causing agents in a swimming pool increase as more chlorine is added to the swimming pool. There have been numerous reports, findings, and speculation linking the highly chlorinated water of the swimming pools to birth defects, miscarriages, lungs disorders, cancers and minor infections. In the indoor pools, the instances of such infections increase manifold. The by products that are present in the swimming pool, both organic and inorganic, pose a great threat to health and it is best to avoid them if you can.