Can Swimming Pool Chlorine Cause Allergies?

Something you might not know is that the chlorine used for swimming pool sanitation can cause respiratory and skin allergies. But you don't have to stop enjoying nice summer splashes! Prevention is key.
Can Swimming Pool Chlorine Cause Allergies?

Written by Yamila Papa

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Learn how swimming pool chlorine can cause certain allergies, as well as how to prevent and treat them so you can enjoy your summer of fun to the fullest.

Swimming pool chlorine can cause respiratory allergies

For many people, the smell of chlorine takes them back to happy days spent in the pool, having fun with family or taking exciting swimming classes. Yet others may associate it with respiratory issues and allergies.

Although this substance is used for swimming pool sanitation, it’s also a very strong and harmful compound for our health. 

Swimming pool chlorine can cause allergies both in adults and children. In the case of very young infants, it can increase their risk of getting respiratory diseases, such as asthma.

Consequences are mostly the same in both indoor and outdoor pools. The probability of getting sick will depend on how much time you spend inside the pool, how frequently you’re diving in, and how much chlorine water you’ve ingested.

The younger the children, the more vulnerable they are to developing allergic reactions to this product. One of the first symptoms is irritation of the nose and eyes. There can also be coughing, vomiting and having trouble breathing.

Can Swimming Pool Chlorine Cause Allergies?

Swimming pool chlorine can cause skin allergies

When it’s hot outside, we usually only think about doing whatever it takes to cool off. And if we’re lucky enough to have a pool at home or at a friend’s house, we feel like the happiest human beings in the world.

However, diving into chlorine water can bring some undesired effects to our skinThis is due to the product used to clean the pool, causing our skin to get dry or be sensitive to allergic reactions.

The most affected body parts are the eyes, nose and even our genitals. Our eyes getting red after being many hours in the pool are a clear sign of what chlorine does to our dermis.

Chlorine increases skin dryness, especially if we go for swims every single day. It’s important to understand that the skin is protected from external factors by a “layer” that can get reduced, altered or even completely eliminated due to aggressive chemical products. This happens mostly in people with very sensitive or light skin.

And not only that, chlorine also affects your hair – especially blonde hair – and your nails. But is this compound the only one to blame?

Actually, other pool-cleaning compounds are also very harmful to our health, including cupric sulfate, iron and metals.

“In the case of very young infants, it can increase their risk of getting respiratory illnesses, such as asthma.”

How to avoid allergic reactions to chlorine?

Since chlorine is used to disinfect pools and reduce the exposure to certain bacteria – such as escherichia coli – as well as to keep the water in great condition for longer periods of time, we must change certain habits if we want to reduce the allergies it causes: 

  • Don’t stay inside the swimming pool for more than one hour straight.
  • Use goggles, earplugs or nose plugs and a cap to protect your hair.
  • Take a thorough shower as soon as you get out of the pool and completely wash your swimsuit.
Can Swimming Pool Chlorine Cause Allergies?
  • Don’t swallow water from the pool.
  • Switch it up and go to beaches and lakes instead of always going to the pool.
  • Choose public swimming pools that aren’t so crowded, or avoid the hours in which they’re very crowded.
  • Ask the staff about their pool sanitation methods.
  • For at-home swimming pools, use lighter chlorine alternatives.

It’s true that chlorine can cause allergies for some people, but if you use this product properly, you’ll be able to enjoy a harm-free summertime in the pool. 

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.