Study: Chemical Reaction Between Skin Products And Chlorine May Cause Cancer

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While we make improvements in our diets and lifestyle, extending our reach to other potential issues is beneficial. Swimming in a pool, for example, may seem not only harmless but beneficial. After all, it provides exercise and bonding with family and friends. But, research indicates that chlorine can create DBPs (disinfection by products)—which can cause DNA damage and cancer.

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that there are three ways for chemicals to enter the body. They are by inhalation, digestion, and absorption. When it comes to swimming, the possibilities exist for all three.

While there are a wide variety of issues associated with swimming in a public, or even private pool, here we will focus on just one: Chlorine, a common chemical used to kill bacteria in pools, can cause skin rashes, allergies and lung injuries.

Some studies on this chemical and its effects on humans should grab your attention—especially when you consider the increased risk of cancer due to chemical reactions generated by chlorine mixing with personal care products on your skin.


Chlorine Can Cause Serious Breathing Issues

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that prolonged contact with chlorine could be a factor in asthma as well as respiratory disease. The CDC has also connected it to epiglottitis—a potentially life-threatening inflammatory condition of the cartlidge ‘lid’ that covers the windpipe.

This is due to the inhalation of the gas that chlorine emits. We’ve all “smelled” that chlorine pool aroma. It may even smell clean to us. Turns out, it could lead to respiratory disease or accentuate current respiratory problems.

Eye infections are another side-effect of chlorinated water. The chlorinated water can easily get into the eyes especially when someone keeps their eyes open while under water. But the risks don’t stop there.

Swallowing too much chlorinated water can lead to liver or kidney problems and it gets worse. The sodium hypochlorite found in chlorine and other compounds that are similar have the potential to produce liver cancer.


Chlorine Exposure And The Development Of Cancer

Water that has been chlorinated is being blamed for causing a higher percentage of skin cancers each year. If you are exposed to chlorinated water for an extended period, the chemical will produce a toxic substance that can produce a rash or other infection on the body.

The sun may be determined as the culprit but rarely it is blamed on chlorine. Another cancer connected to chlorinated water is colorectal cancer. This too, can happen when a person is overexposed to treated water. Trihalomethanes, a by-product of chlorine, are the main contributor to uninhibited cell growth within the colon.


Protect Yourself From The Risks Associated With Chlorine

There are ways you can better protect yourself from the harmful effects of toxic chemicals associated with swimming pools, whether they are public or private. Obviously, the best way would be to avoid them—completely. But, for ‘pool lovers’—here are a few healthy tips to protect yourself:

  • Limit the swimming times for you and your family. Time at the pool can be relaxing and enjoyable but monitor how much time you and loved ones are spending in the chlorinated water.
  • Rinse chlorinated pool water off of your body. Make sure you and your family showers before, during, and after swimming.
  • Wearing protective eye goggles can help decrease the intake of chlorine into the eyes and the body. They can decrease the possibility of eye infections as the result of chlorine.

No matter how you view the threat of chlorine, you should understand that ingesting it is harmful. You certainly want family members to enjoy their day at the pool, but they should be reminded to avoid swallowing chlorinated water.

Of course, chlorine in drinking water is a whole other topic but my best advice would be to use a water purifier that removes unwanted toxins from your water supply.

Unlike sea water which is briny and immediately unpleasant, some may not see pool water as much different than tap water—which, of course, is a big mistake. Make sure family members know not to swallow any amount of pool water.

One all natural way to make sure your family and friends are safe in your family pool is by using Sphagnum Moss. According to David Knighton, a surgeon and founder and CEO of Creative Water Solutions, the moss has been known to inhibit microbes.

The moss was used and tested in the Oxford Community Center located in St. Paul, MN. The director, Lynn Waldorf, says that the moss has saved the pool some $35,000 because they use less toxic chemicals and they had an increase in revenue because more swimmers attended the pool.

There are almost always natural solutions to everyday problems. And, best of all, there are ways to improve our lifestyles and health without toxic chemicals. Plus, there is no downside in your search for optimal health.


This article was originally published on It is republished here with permission.

Some of the links I post on this site are affiliate links. If you go through them to make a purchase, I will earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you). However, note that I’m recommending these products because of their quality and that I have good experience using them, not because of the commission to be made.

About Sara Ding

Sara Ding is the founder of She is a certified Wellness Health Coach, Nutritional Consultant and a Detox Specialist. She helps busy men and women identify their health issues at the root cause, in order to eliminate the problems for optimum physical/mental health and wellbeing.


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