Tips for healthy swimming in summer | Updated: 2023-07-14
A rising number of people have shown interest in swimming because it can enhance their cardiorespiratory endurance and physical flexibility, as well as improve their body-fat ratios. However, swimming pools are public venues and people might get sick if they don't pay attention to personal hygiene.
People's urine, sweat and cosmetics will be absorbed by the water in swimming pools, which will facilitate the proliferation of waterborne microorganisms. In addition, the water in swimming pools is likely to lead to diarrhea, pink eye and respiratory diseases because of bacteria and viruses introduced by exogenous pollution.
Common disinfectants used in swimming pools
Commonly used disinfection and sterilization methods for swimming pools include chlorination, ozone, chlorine dioxide, ultraviolet rays and bromine products. Silver-ion disinfection is another conventional disinfection and sterilization method, but has had a relatively lower penetration rate because of its high cost.
Chlorination disinfection occurs when hypochlorous acids are released amid the reaction between chlorine or chloride and water to sterilize bacteria and viruses. Sodium hypochlorite (NaCIO) is also known to be a highly efficient bleaching powder, whose chlorine content is between 10 percent and 15 percent. It is also commonly used because of its accessibility and affordability.
Trichloroisocyanuric acid (TCCA) is commonly known as strong chloramine and its chlorine content available is between 85 percent and 95 percent. As an organic chlorine disinfectant, it can effectively and quickly eliminate various bacteria, fungi, spores, molds, vibrio cholerae and algae. It has been widely used in swimming pools because of its stable performance and fewer irritating effects upon people's eyes and skin.
Potential negative effects of chlorine upon people's health
The density of disinfection and sterilization products in swimming pools are liable to change under such factors as hygienic management, the number of swimmers, water temperature and replacement frequency.
Lower level of disinfection and sterilization products, rather than get rid of viruses, may facilitate the proliferation of microorganisms. But people's skin and mucous membrane are at risk of getting hurt if the level of disinfection and sterilization products is too high.
How to prevent bacterial and viral infection and chlorine-related harms in swimming pools
1. Wear a swimming cap, waterproof glasses, nose plugs and earplugs. Don't rub your eyes after pool water gets into your eyes, instead, wash your eyes and goggles with clean water in a timely manner. Rinse your mouth with clean water in case any pool water gets into your mouth.
2. Whoever enters a swimming pool should abide by the following rules:
(i) Take a shower and wash your feet prior to entering the pool;
(ii) Don't spit or pee in the pool;
(iii) Don't use the pool as a bathing facility;
In addition, people should not drink alcohol prior to visiting a swimming pool.
3. People should not stay in the swimming pool too long or visit swimming pools too frequently so as to prevent skin irritation.