Monday, July 22, 2013

Summertime Friend or Foe: Chlorinated Water

Most agree that swimming is good  exercise.  Swimming is therapeutic as well, and of course it’s a great way to cool of during these hot days of summer. Public pools, and for most of us, even the backyard pool, utilize chemicals to maintain and sanitize the pool water. Chlorine is most commonly used, and poses a risk to our health as well. It seems to be a Catch 22. It seems if we want to swim in water with a balanced pH, we have to subject our bodies to hazardous chemicals.

Per Dr. Joe Mercola, a well known health advocate whom authors the most popular health web site on the internet, writes: “Chlorine is a hazardous chemical when absorbed by your body or inhaled. Most public pools are overloaded with chlorine, as the well-intentioned people who maintain public pools overly shock them with chlorine to make sure bacteria and other organisms get snuffed out quickly. But even the swimming pool in your backyard could be toxic if you treat it with chlorine.”
Studies have pointed out risks to those working in and around chlorinated water, such as, swim instructors are twice as likely to suffer frequently from sinusitis or sore throat, and more than three times as likely to have chronic colds, than pool workers with less trichloramine exposure, such as waiters or receptionists. Compared to the general population, pool workers with high levels of exposure were at a 40% greater risk for tightness of the chest, and over 700% more likely to suffer breathlessness while walking. Chlorine in pools poses the risk of miscarriage and stillbirths in pregnant women, and birth defects. It can weaken the immune system, disrupt central nervous system, damage the cardiovascular system, and more, per Mercola’s article.
Swimming is a great recreation, and should be encouraged, but take some actions to reduce chlorinic overload on your body. For a number of years our family had a backyard EasySet pool.  Learning about the toxicity of chlorine, we learned that Patio Pleasures Pools and Spas in Madison offered a “green chemical” that was a more safe alternative than chlorine. Our family really enjoyed pool time not having the sting of chlorine in the eyes.
We use an AB Detox Rescue Wash (for head to toe cleaning), whic contains sea algae extracts in a sulfate-free cleanser to provide antioxidant benefits to help neutralize the toxicity of heavy metals (e.g. lead, mercury  chromium and cadmium).
Research indicates that heavy metal build-up can lead to poor digestion, hormonal imbalance and depression. The unique formula lifts away impurities and environmental toxins and also provides a moisture barrier on the skin’s surface to provide a relaxed, and comfortable feel. The item number for this product is 7320.
Hair care products developed for chemically treated hair,  free of parabens, SLS and other harmful or irritating ingredients, can help combat the effects of chlorine. Learn to become your own ingredient watchdog, as shampoos and conditioners are some of the most toxic hygiene products on the market, yet we apply them on our scalp - right above our brain (now, that is a scary thought!).  If hairs get especially tangled after hours in a pool, a quality hair mask can also be of great help in repairing chemically damaged hairs after being washed, in addition to smoothinig out tangles and restoring softness.

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