Swimming is such a splendid form of exercise and so perfectly adapted to summer that the increase in swimming pools in all communities is to be welcomed.
But Chlorine used to disinfect swimming pools is a health hazard and may trigger asthma in children. Among adults it has been linked with other health problems including bladder and rectal cancer and may increase the risk for coronary heart disease.
Chlorinated water contains chemical compounds called trihalomethanes which are carcinogens resulting from the combination of chlorine with organic compounds in water. These chemicals, also known as organochlorides, do not degrade very well and are generally stored in the fatty tissues of the body (breast, other fatty areas, mother’s milk, blood and semen). Organochlorides can cause mutations by altering DNA, supress immune function and interfere with the natural controls of cell growth.
Further more, some pool chemicals are corrosive; meaning they burn or destroy body tissue on contact (Have you ever read the warning labels on the chemicals used to sterilize typical swimming pools?) . Some release toxic vapors, either alone or when mixed with other chemicals including water, that can build up in poorly ventilated spaces. Inhaling highly-concentrated fumes from pool chemicals can cause mild to severe breathing difficulty, coughing, eye irritation, or vomiting. And some are capable of generating temperatures hot enough to ignite a fire when mixed with the wrong substance.
The best place to swim is in the ocean. The salt water actually serves to kill many of the parasites that live on our skin and in our nasal passages and eyes and takes a huge stress off our immune system. Additionally, we tend to absorb many of the valuable minerals from the water. If you don’t have access to the ocean or other natural bodies of water, you could consider a Natural Swimming Pool.
Natural swimming pools are a chemical free combination of swimming area and aquatic plant garden, they are a safe place for children to play and birds to drink and are a dramatic example of ecological design. The swimming area merges with the planted area, creating an environment that is intertwined and mutually dependent on one another. These ecologically balanced, self cleaning swimming pools combine the natural cleaning properties of plants with filtration and skimming systems so that there is no need for harmful chemicals.
In a natural swimming pool you harness natures’ own processes to produce clean, clear water. If you have ever had the opportunity to swim in a crystal clear lake or stream surrounded by wild grasses, with hummingbirds landing on nearby trumpet flowers and the scent of jasmine and mint in the air, then you know the sense of bliss that only nature can supply. Swimming is much more enjoyable without burning eyes and chemical odor.
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New to the U.S. and designed with the swimmer in mind, swimming ponds or ‘natural swimming pools’ have taken Europe by storm over the last 20 years.