Thursday, September 11, 2008

CHLORINE + GUNK= UGH!

It's raining again today and it made me really want to stay in bed this morning. I am sure that we are officially out of the drought by now. Check out the pics from my drive home yesterday, I am actually used to this by now, the fog! The visibility is next to nothing and it was this way again this morning. Gotta love living on a mountain :)

Last night I made my way to the gym to get in a swim and run. I rarely have bad swims, but last night, was bad. Not horrible, just bad. I just could not get a rhythm and my breathing was labored the whole time. I noticed the smell of chlorine was much much stronger than I had ever noticed at the pool but really paid it no attention at the time. I ran, with no problems and then once I got home, I started to cough, then wheeze and then had a full blown asthma attack. It was really my first "big" one. Usually, I have found, that I am only affected during the change of the seasons when pollen is high etc. Never had an attack like that! Luckily I had my inhaler in my purse and within 20 seconds after the 'puffs' I was ok. I started to think about "why". So, Dr. T decided to do a self eval to see what could be the culprit behind that nasty attack. And with the help of Google, I have found some interesting info to share in case anyone else has experienced this;
Chlorinated Swimming Pools Can Cause Asthma In Swimmers
Water Treatment Chemicals Used For Indoor Swimming Pools Could Be The Culprit


Chlorinated indoor swimming pools can cause asthma, according to research from several sources. These findings may explain why swimmers using indoor pools are more prone to Asthma than athletes in other sports.
The problem isn't the chlorine, but what chlorine turns into when combined with organics. The organics are contributed by bathers in the pool in the form of sweat, dander, urine and other organics. The chlorine reacts with the organics and produces nitrogen trichloride, aldehydes, halogenated hydrocarbons, chloroform, trihalomethanes and chloramines. If these sound like dangerous chemicals, they are. During the Olympic Games held in Australia, it was reported that more than one-quarter of the American swim team suffered from some degree of asthma.

As part of Dr. Thickett's study, three employees of a local public swimming pool who complained of asthma-like symptoms were subjected to chloramine challenge tests in which, in the lab setting, they were exposed to roughly the same amounts of chloramine as they would be exposed at work (i.e., around the swimming pool, close to the surface of the water). Measurements of nitrogen trichloride were taken at 15 points around the pool, 1 m above the surface of the water. When exposed to equivalent amounts of the chemical in the lab, the three subjects all experienced significant reductions in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), and high measurements on their Occupational Asthma Expert System (OASYS) scores, a measurement of asthma and allergy severity.

Chlorine byproducts found in swimming pools are linked to higher incidences of asthma, lung damage, stillbirths, miscarriages and bladder cancer, according to credible research conducted in the U.S., Canada, Norway, Australia and Belgium. One researcher noted that 10-year-old children spending an average of 1.8 hours per week in an indoor swimming pool environment suffered lung damage she would expect to see in an adult smoker.

Interesting eh? For further reading.... http://swimming.about.com/od/allergyandasthma/a/cl_pool_problem.htm

Maybe that explains my problem last night. Who knows?! The pool has been really crowded this week due to the rain, so could be the mixture of all gunk in the water plus the chlorine. At any rate, I will see how it goes next time. I certainly don't have the problem all the time but I have noticed the coughing from time to time after a long swim. I find it rather interesting and annoying.
So, with the rain, still no bike today :( I guess I will have to hit the trainer again tonight. Fun!

Happy Thursday All~ The weekend is near :)

2 comments:

Jill said...

That is why a lot of pools now use bromine. It still isn't good for you but it isn't as bad. I never had any problems while swimming but I used to have horrible sinus problems when I used to lifeguard indoors and it was really humid.
By the way... thanks for the comment. I'll be back together in no time.

Laura said...

Wow! I'm SO glad our pool just recently became saline! They never had the chlorine right - sometimes during swims I would feel my lungs burning, I'd start coughing and not be able to finish my workout. Now that it's saline I guess I have one less excuse not to swim.... ;)