Researchers believe that infants swimming in indoor pools may have a greater risk of developing asthma as they grow up. Amy Norton of Reuters has more:
In a study of 341 schoolchildren, Belgian researchers found that the 43 children who had been enrolled in a swimming program as infants were about three times more likely to have asthma or suffer recurrent bouts of bronchitis than children who did not.
The problem, according to the researchers, is that chlorine byproducts may irritate infants' developing airways, causing changes that make them more susceptible to lung disease later in childhood…
…Past studies have found that competitive swimmers and people who work around indoor pools tend to have elevated rates of asthma. Experts suspect that the air quality around pools -- particularly indoor ones -- is to blame.
When the chlorine used to disinfect pools combines with swimmers' sweat, saliva or urine, irritating chlorine byproducts are formed. One of these is a gas called trichloramine, which is released into the air, giving indoor pool areas their distinctive "chlorine" smell. Trichloramine is known to irritate the eyes and upper respiratory tract.
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