Public pools hang in a delicate balance between fostering an environment for bacteria and being over chlorinated and posing severe chlorine-based health problems.
“Chlorine breaks down very fast in the presence of high contamination and swimmer load and due to the effects of the sun’s UV rays and heat.” (1) This can cause the pool water to be less effective in killing the pathogens which cause diseases like Gastroenteritis, Dysentery, Giardia, Dermatitis and more. (1)
Often pool caretakers overcompensate for this and thus over-chlorinate pools. When chlorine comes in contact with organic matter like dirt or leaves it can produce dioxins, furans and trihalomethanes. The International Agency for Research on Cancer are anticipated carcinogens which can build up in the bodies of a human. (2)
One study shows that there seems to be a strong correlation between children who swim very often in chlorinated pools and those children developing asthma. (3)
There has been a move to utilizing non-chlorine products to sanitize pools, including copper and silver which are known anti-bacterial and anti-viral instruments. (1)
I myself can remember jumping in a pool with a bunch of friends ‘just for fun’ after it was closed. It alarms me to learn that, due to chlorine degrading in the sun, pool caretakers put chlorine into pools at closing time so that the chlorine has time to circulate and become evenly distributed during the night.
I was unintentionally exposing myself to potentially high concentrations of chlorine, which can be toxic.
Perhaps more studies need to be done to determine an effective yet safer method of sanitizing pools.