Note (to keep responses on track): I do not own a pool, nor do I have any
intention of owning a pool.
Onward: I get a nasty rash any time I spend time in an indoor pool or hot
tub, but never with outdoor pools. What's the diff? Type of chemicals used?
If the chemicals are often the same, does sunlight do something to the
chemicals in outdoor pools, making them less irritating or something?
Hard to tell as there are at least 5 different ways I know of to make the
Indoors and spas some times used bromide instead of chlorine.
Your probably allergic to either the level or the product used.
As far as I know, there are two chemicals that are used to sanitize
pools / spa: Chlorine and Bromide. Chlorine is typically used whever
possible as it is cheaper. Both substances will break down when
exposed to heat and ultraviolet radiation. However, bromide resists
breakdown due to heat much better than chlorine, hence it is typically
used for spa sanitization instead of chlorine. This might account for
what you're experiencing. You should ask the owner of any indoor
pools / spas that you frequent which chemical they use; you'll
probably discover that hot water environments (like a spa) will use
bromide while pools (both indoor and outdoor) will use chlorine. Your
problem more than likely has to do with the level of sanitization used
and not necessarily which chemical is used...
P.S. I'm not a chemist, nor do I play one on TV...
On Thu, 17 Feb 2005 13:35:13 GMT, "Doug Kanter"
Maybe some, but I've gotten the exact same rash from a pool which, according
to the local health department, was heavily OVERTREATED for weeks at a time
by an attendant who didn't understand how to measure the chemicals.
I had a hot tub for about 12 years. I just moved and will be getting
In addition to the foliculitious info I posted, my skin has been irritated
by certain brands of bromine. My spa store swears they're all the same but
my reaction says differently. Of the brands I tried (several), "Spa Guard"
was the best.
Bromine overload is easy to do and causes adverse effects such as eye
irritation and women wanting to get out. NOT GOOD! ;)
Pool chemistry is difficult to maintain even if you know what you're doing.
And hardly anyone does.
You're soaking yourself if hot water with a high ORP and likely a harsh pH.
Hotel hot tubs are necessarily bad. You either have harsh sanitation, or
waterborne filth, there just isn't any stable point in between.
It's not the chemicals being used, so much as the fact that you have been
soaking in tubs or pools that have not been maintained properly, and the PH
level is way too high. Root cause is likely to be low alkalinity, which makes
keeping the PH in the proper range essentially impossible. Other common cause is
that the water is being overdosed with sanitizer, which raises the PH. Low
alkalinty would aggravate this.
Buy yourself a little bottle of test strips (different type depending on bromine
or chlorine) and test the water yourself. It's not the chemicals being used,
it's the PH that is off. Usually aggravated by low alkalinity, or someone
over-sanitizing, which is common in public indoor pools and spas. Those indoor
pools and spas are getting treated improperly, and the water is not balanced.
It's really that simple.
Guess I'm just gonna have to cover my skin with Crisco or something. The
real reason for all these questions is that I'm going to an indoor water
park in Erie PA in a couple of weeks. No way I'd miss it, even with the rash
issue. But, it'll be more flying down tubes than soaking anyway. :-)
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