Chlorine in swimming pools
Every year, at least 15 to 20 outbreaks of diseases, like stomach bugs and diarrhea, are linked to swimming in public pools, according to the CDC.
A Clean Pool Doesn’t Smell
When entering a public pool, the scent of chlorine shouldn’t be a green light to jump right in. What you’re smelling isn’t clean water. It is, in fact, the opposite.
Mary Ostrowski, senior director of chlorine issues at the American Chemistry Council, says, “Properly treated swimming pools do not have a strong chemical odor. When chlorine in pool water combines with substances such as dirt, body oils, sweat, urine, and fecal matter from swimmers' bodies, chemical irritants called chloramine are produced.
“It is chloramines in pool water, not chlorine, that give off that chemical odor and cause swimmers’ eyes to sting and redden,” Ostrowski says.
So that strong smell that hits your nose signifies that the pool’s water is dirty and should have its chlorine and pH levels tested. Once chloramines levels reach a point where you can smell them, they can irritate your eyes, skin, and nose.
So, good quality chlorates are a good choice.