(NaturalNews) While chlorine and bromine are depended on today to kill pathogens in pools, spas and hot tubs, these chemicals also create their own array of health hazards. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System has documented and analyzed thousands of emergency rooms visits between 2003 and 2012 that are all related to pool chemical injuries.
Thousands of children sent to emergency room yearly over pool chemicals
The Centers for Disease Control reported on the data, which tallies up nearly 5,000 emergency room visits in the year 2012 alone due to pool chemical injuries. This statistic is screaming out to the public that commercial chlorine and bromine pool additives are easily mishandled, caustic to the human body and capable of turning basic swimming water into a toxic chemical bath.
In the study, almost half of the documented pool chemical injuries were found in children under 18 years old, and over a third of the injuries were home based. While no deaths were recorded, the 4,900 chemical injuries in the year 2012 pose questions.
How can pool chemicals be more properly handled? Are they being overused?
The report stated very explicitly that "pool chemical-associated health events are preventable," citing one case in Minnesota that involved seven hospitalized children who were poisoned due to poor monitoring of pool chemistry. The report also details simple steps for avoiding pool chemical injuries, which includes keeping children away from containers, wearing goggles and gloves when handling chemicals and in a well ventilated area, properly measuring chemical amounts and following all directions on product labels.
But are these chemicals any safer diluted into pools or are they just as dangerous absorbed over time?
Chlorine and bromine pool chemicals compete with iodine in the endocrine system
The burns and the allergic skin reactions may only be the beginning of health issues and hospital visits. In fact, the findings did not provide complete information on pool chemical injuries not pertaining to immediate emergency room visits.
So what is really happening as chlorine and bromine pool chemicals sink into the skin? What other damages are being done as these halogens enter the body? What is the body trying to say when the skin breaks out in reaction to pool chemicals?
As part of the halide family on the periodic table, chlorine and bromine mimic iodine. While iodine is needed in the thyroid gland of the endocrine system, chlorine and bromine are not needed and actually compete with iodine at the receptor sites. Chlorine and bromine chemicals may enter the body easily during a simple swim, since the skin is the biggest organ on the body and absorbs what it comes into contact with. In the CDC report, improper handling of the pool chemicals caused acute poisoning in many of the hospital patients, showing how easily they are absorbed. By not using protective equipment such as goggles and gloves, some patients were poisoned directly through the hands or face.
Many people are iodine-deficient in modern day culture because bromines and chlorines are found lurking in so many places. Not only are they contained in commercial pools, but they persist in most municipal water sources.
In fact,a hot shower can actually produce chlorine gas that is breathed into the lungs. In the CDC report, the most frequent diagnosis of pool chemical injuries was actually inhalation poisoning from fumes!Are hot showers a similar poisoning experience over time?
Bromine also persists in modern day life. Brominated vegetable oils are a common additive to processed foods and sports drinks.
Methyl bromide pesticides taint commercially grown crops like strawberries.
Potassium bromate may exist as a dough conditioner in processed bread products.
With breast, thyroid, prostate and ovarian cancers on the rise, it's apparent why, since iodine is so easily displaced by the surplus chlorine and bromine lurking everywhere.
Silver and copper ionization method can also be used to treat pools
What are safer alternatives to keeping pools pathogen-free without creating a toxic cesspool of chemicals?
A more natural alternative to chlorine and bromine chemical-treated pools is a method of ionization that uses copper and silver to kill bacteria, viruses and algae. This method reduces the amount of total chlorine used, limiting toxic exposure. This sanitation method must also be monitored carefully and copper levels measured appropriately.