As the warm days of summer quickly approach, if you have a swimming pool in your backyard, you have probably begun to order your chemicals in an effort to open your pool; but do you really want to order the chemicals you have ordered in the past? If chlorine has been your staple in the past, it may be time to reconsider. Bromine may be an attractive alternative.
Why Do You Use Chlorine?
As you may already know, there are not too many things that beat the power of chlorine in killing the living organisms which have the potential to exist in your pool water. Like many pool owners, you probably have added this chemical weekly, if not daily, through the addition of various tablets, granules, and sometimes liquids. While often identified by other derivatives of its name, your pool chemicals will probably list cholorine as calcium and sodium hypochlorite.
Chlorine in a pool performs three primary jobs.
- It sanitizes your pool by killing the bacteria and germs which are present
- It oxidizes your pool by controlling the organic debris produced through bodily fluids and oils
- It deters the growth of algae
But have you ever stopped to ask yourself is your pool healthy?
Why Could Chlorine Be Unhealthy?
The strongest form of chlorine found in your home is probably in your bleach bottle. Even in this concentrated form, it only contains 5.25% sodium hypochlorite, and the rest of the bottle is made up of water. In most of your other cleaning products, the concentration is far less. When you purchase chlorine to go in your swimming pool, you may purchase several different products that all contain chlorine. You may purchase:
- Chlorine tablets to go in your skimmer which delivers an ongoing dose
- Granulated chlorine to shock your pool, and raise your chlorine levels
- Liquid chlorine to quickly sanitize your pool, and to also raise your chlorine levels
When you combine all of these, the chlorine concentrations that you and your family are exposed to every time you swim are exponential.
What Are The Health Concerns With A Chlorinated Pool?
Some of the most common health concerns that you have probably had as a pool owner is the occasional red irritated eyes, and dry, itchy skin that you often see when you, or your family, spend excessive amounts of time in your pool. While these may be some of the most common things you see, they are not the only health concerns you should have.
If your chlorine levels are too high, or your pool is not balanced, swimmers may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- A burning sensation in their eyes, nose, or throat
- Buildup of fluid in their lungs, and more
Some people who are exposed to chlorinated pools, especially those indoors, over a long period of time, have developed lung problems, tooth corrosion, and have shown to be susceptible to an increased risk of certain cancers.
Could Bromine Be The Alternative You Are Looking For?
Chlorine is not the only thing on the market that will give you the results you are looking for, some pool owners are turning to Bromine.
Bromine - Found in the same halogen chemical family as chlorine, have been a go to product in spas for years. The advantages of using Bromine in your pool are:
- Bromine remains in liquid form, it does not become a gas and produce a smell like chlorine does. This means it is less likely to irritate your eyes, nose, and lungs.
- Bromine pools do not need to be shocked with excessive amounts of chemical. This reduces your costs, as well as the amount of chemical you, and your swimmers are being exposed to.
- The amount of bromine needed to sanitize your pool is much less than the amount of chlorine you are probably currently using.
- Bromine is not as caustic as chlorine. It is good for people with sensitive skin.
- You will not have to worry about bromine turning your chemically treated hair strange colors.
Unfortunately, along with all of the positives, there are some negatives.
- It is not as stable as chlorine. In outdoor pools it is easily broken down by the UV rays of the sun. This means that you will be required to add it to your pool more frequently than you would have to add chlorine.
- Bromine also does not oxidize as well as chlorine. If you choose to use bromine, you may find yourself having to purchase oxidizer, in addition to the bromine.
- Pound per pound bromine costs much more than chlorine. Even with all of the advantages that bromine offers, this can be a large deterrent to many pool owners.
Although you have used chlorine in the past, it does not mean that chlorine has to be in your future. Bromine is just one of several alternatives on the market. Before you purchase your chemicals this year, click here for info on swimming pool supplies and do your research to see if this is the year you will switch from chlorine.