Turns out, that’s not chlorine you can smell at all…
Chlorine is one of those smells that’s instantly recognizable.
Just a whiff of it can conjure up fond (or not so) childhood memories of swimming lessons, galas and days out.
A sudden blast of chlorine may also remind you that you should probably give your house a quick clean, but it remains that chlorine and swimming pools are forever linked in our minds and noses.
But that strong chemical smell isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…
A strong chlorine smell doesn’t indicate high levels of chlorine at all, according to the National Swimming Pool Foundation ( nspf.org ).
In fact, it indicates some real nasties lurking in the water.
Experts at the Water Quality and Health Council, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and that NSPF said properly treated swimming pools do not have a strong chemical smell.
Instead, when chlorine in pool water combines with urine, feces, sweat, and dirt from swimmers’ bodies, the mixture produces chemical irritants called chloramines.
It’s the chloramines that give off that familiar odour, which in fact USE UP chlorine and cause eyes to sting and go red. All of which means there’s not much in the way of protection from germs.
“It’s understandable why most people think that a chemical smell means there is too much chlorine in the pool, but the truth could be the opposite,” said Chris Wiant, Chair of the Water Quality and Health Council.
“To help prevent chloramines from forming where you swim, shower before swimming and take little swimmers on regular bathroom breaks.”