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Press release on Health

Baby swimming: Possible risk of asthma caused by chlorine disinfection?

Swimming is good for your health, which is why-in addition to providing protection against drowning- swimming is taught at school. However, disinfection of swimming pool water requires chlorine, and the reaction products of chlorine may contribute to the development of asthma in high-risk groups. Trichloramine in particular, a reaction product of chlorine, and the urea introduced by bathers, are now suspected of triggering asthma. Whether or not damage to the lung epithelium is actually done in early childhood and might lead to asthma cannot be conclusively assessed due to lacking data on the adverse effect level of trichloramine. The Federal Environment Agency (UBA) recommends, for the sake of precaution, that concerned parents of children under the age of two from families that suffer allergies not go to baby swimming until the suspicion is confirmed. All other children and adults can continue to go to public swimming pools maintained and serviced according to generally accepted engineering standards without reservation. read more

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The Umweltbundesamt

For our environment