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Chlorinated Swimming Pools Jump-Start Asthma

With temperatures exploding to record highs in many parts of the United States, you may be tempted to beat the heat and get some exercise at the same time in an indoor pool, but that's not the healthiest choice due to chlorine, according to a new study.

Scientists blame chlorine bi-products in indoor pool water for the rapid rise in asthma problems among European children, based on a comparison of asthma statistics among teens in 21 countries and the number of chlorinated pools per capita.

Considering asthma has risen by 50 percent over the past quarter-century and some 150 million suffer from it worldwide, asthma and wheezing increased as much as 3.4 percent for each additional chlorinated indoor pool.

The probable reason: Your body absorbs more chlorine after one hour in a swimming pool than you would from drinking unfiltered local tap water for a week.

Safer alternatives -- ozone and Baquacil -- kill microorganisms just like chlorine and are becoming more common in public pools.

Occupational and Environmental Medicine July 17, 2006

Reuters.com July 17, 2006

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