Swimming pools are important in many peoples lives and have many positive aspects which are usually focused on but also have some negative aspects. Since public swimming pools must accommodate many people, strong chlorine must be used in order to prevent the people who use the pool from spreading germs, such as harmful bacteria. Even in private home pools, the water must still be sufficiently chlorine-treated. While chlorine works effectively to kill certain germs and protect people from the spread of these harmful agents, it can also have adverse effects on the human body.
I’ll start first with the numerous benefits of swimming pools. Obviously they provide a place for people to swim, which is a great exercise. Swimming is a very beneficial exercise for people of all ages, sizes, and other differing characteristics and generally leads to less injuries than other sports such as contact sports in part because of the buoyancy of the water. Unlike contact/collision sports or other strenuous exercise which constantly wears away at the anatomy (tendons, muscles, ligaments) of the human body, swimming usually leads to lean muscles and if done correctly doesn’t allow much room for injuries as severe as some other sports.
Compared to a sport such as rugby for example, in which players are constantly colliding into each other leaving much opportunity for serious injuries since swimming is in water and doesn’t actively involve colliding with other players, it has less opportunity for injuries. Of course overuse-type injuries can still happen in any exercises, it occurs less often in swimming and so swimming tends to be a more sustainable exercise that one can continue even later in life and often with injuries without exacerbating old injuries.
Swimming can even be used to maintain exercise with injuries and be used to help heal. From personal experience, when recovering from injuries one of the first exercises I was allowed to go back to by physical therapy was swimming and has helped me overcome injuries. In this way and others, swimming can be used as a soothing therapy for the body’s muscles, ligaments, etc. and is a good source of cardio.
Swimming pools can also be a place for socializing. Pools can also be used for other sports besides just swimming, such as water polo and diving. Pools can be found in gyms, rec centers, communities, hotels, personal homes. Even pools plays an essential role in collages as well. Pools can be indoor in addition to just outdoor so they can be used year round.
However, pools can also cause harm to the body if one spends much time in the chlorine which is a strong chemical. Research studies have found harmful effects of chlorine on the body, especially with direct exposure and have even found links between long-term exposure and risk of cancer and heart disease. In its chemical form, it is a toxic agent. Even used in small quantities dissolved in swimming pools, it can still harm humans with long-term exposure that’s why it’s important to limit exposure and be sure to wash off all the chlorine as soon as possible after swimming.
As familiar to anyone who has swam in a pool with chlorine in it, hair and skin becomes dried out and texture may even change over time. There are specialized clarifying/cleansing shampoos to use to try to reverse the damage on hair but the efficacy of these have not been completely studied yet. I’m sure they cannot reverse all the damage that chlorine causes the body. Of course more chlorine exposure would cause more damage so the more swimmers
Sometimes accidents happen such as accidentally swallowing swimming pool water with chlorine in it but people, especially young children should be coached on how to limit the amount of water with chlorine in it that’s ingested. Swimmers who must spend a lot of time in chlorinated pools practicing should take extra care to make sure they don’t ingest the water since they already must spend much time in the water. Wearing the proper swimming gear, such as swimsuits that cover much of the body and earplugs and swim caps, can help to protect the body from the harmful effects of chlorine.
It is especially pertinent for the person who adds the chlorine to the water, usually lifeguards, to add precisely the right measurement. Not enough chlorine wouldn’t stop the spread of germs but too much would be dangerous to people; especially if too much chlorine gets ingested it is toxic and so can even potentially prove fatal. There are more natural products to use in water that can kill the germs and prevent their spread but chlorine is still more widely used and especially must be used in commercial and professional swimming pools.
Another reason for chlorine still being the primary chemical used to treat swimming pools might be that most people don’t know of possible alternatives. More natural products which are less toxic can be used in private swimming pools but many owners of private pools are not informed about these less toxic alternatives. Therefore, more awareness should be spread of not only how to avoid the potential dangers of chlorine (how to use swimming pools safely) but also safer alternatives which can also help to prevent and avoid the dangers.
Overall there are many pros of swimming pools. They provide a place for people to get exercise which increases health. Swimming is a safe and versatile sport/exercise in that it can be done by almost everyone, can be done throughout life (at practically all ages), and improves overall health.
Swimming pools also provide a place for socializing and generally positively effect peoples’ lives. However,as there are drawbacks in addition to benefits of practically everything,there are also dangers associated primarily with the chlorine that pools must be treated with since chlorine is a chemical that can have adverse effects on the human body especially with increased exposure.
Everyone using swimming pools should be aware and informed on how to decrease they’re exposure to the harmful effects of chlorine so that they can use pools safely to maximize the benefits of swimming while decreasing the potential downsides.