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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111

Abstract

FERNANDEZ-LUNA, Álvaro et al. Chlorine concentrations in the air of indoor swimming pools and their effects on swimming pool workers. Gac Sanit [online]. 2013, vol.27, n.5, pp.411-417. ISSN 0213-9111.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gaceta.2013.02.002.

Objective: To describe chlorine levels in the air of indoor swimming pools in Castilla-La Mancha (Spain) and relate them to other chemical parameters in the installation and to the health problems perceived by swimming pool workers. Methods: We analyzed 21 pools with chlorine as chemical treatment in Castilla-La Mancha. The iodometry method was applied to measure chlorine concentrations in the air. The concentrations of free and combined chlorine in water, pH and temperature were also evaluated. Health problems were surveyed in 230 swimming pool workers in these facilities. Results: The mean chlorine level in the air of swimming pools was 4.3 ± 2.3 mg/m3. The pH values were within the legal limits. The temperature parameters did not comply with regulations in 17 of the 21 pools analyzed. In the pools where chlorine values in the air were above the legal regulations, a significantly higher percentage of swimming pool workers perceived eye irritation, dryness and irritation of skin, and ear problems. Conclusions: Chlorine values in the air of indoor swimming pools were higher than those reported in similar studies. Most of the facilities (85%) exceeded the concentration of 1.5 mg/m3 established as the limit for the risk of irritating effects. The concentration of chlorine in indoor swimming pool air has a direct effect on the self-perceived health problems of swimming pool workers.

Keywords : Chlorine gas; Occupational health; Swimming pool; Ventilation.

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