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Question
Posted by: Ivan | 2004/09/27

Ozone pools vs chlorine pools

Are ozone pools safer to swim in than chlorine pools? EPA has warned that inhaling higher levels of ozone (0.08ppm) can be detrimental to our health but so can chlorine, not true. Which is safer option?

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Our expert says:
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I'd go with ozone.

Chlorine's associated with respiratory problems, especially asthma, and other undesirable effects like erosion of tooth enamel and eye irritation. Children and serious swimmers (who spend a lot of time in pools and inhale more chlorine when training) are considered most vulnerable to its effects. The reason chlorine has been used so extensively for pools is that it’s really good at getting rid of harmful organisms and impurities in the water. Alternative water purification methods, like ozone, are comparatively less harmful, but less effective and long-lasting. A good compromise is to use one of the recent combination methods e.g. a system that relies predominantly on ozone, but also uses some chlorine – though at much lower, and safer, levels than a traditional chlorine system.

Some environmental bodies, such as the EPA, are concerned that the alternative pool cleaning methods to chlorine (including ozone) might produce harmful chemical byproducts too, and that more research is needed in this area. But the general current consensus is that ozone in this context is pretty safe, as it’s used low concentrations and doesn’t persist for long.

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