Ozone as a replacement for Chlorine in Pools

There are more reasons than ever to replace chlorine with ozone in swimming pools.  A recent study has linked chlorine in pools to children’s asthma.  See article below for story:

Chlorine Has Been Linked to Children’s Asthma

Get clued up on the health problems that can be caused by swimming in a chlorine pool.

Having a dip in a pool is the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer’s day. However maybe you shouldn’t make it a regular thing as health experts have warned about the problems stemming from being submerged in chlorine.

Chemical analyst and forensic toxicologist Dr Nitin Seetohul, of Nottingham Trent University, explains to MailOnline that chlorine is beneficial when destroying water-borne bacteria and has been linked to wiping out illnesses such as typhoid and cholera in more developed countries. At low levels in drinking water (the recommended content it one part of a million) it is helpful, but when adding two to five parts in order to keep swimming pool water clean, the trouble begins.

Chlorine was linked to children’s asthma in a 2008 Belgian study published in the European Respiratory Journal. The research found that kids who swam once a week in a pool were more likely to be asthmatic than those who had never taken a dip in a chlorinated pool. Youngsters are believed to be more at risk due to splashing about and ingesting more water. They’re also more likely to spend longer in a pool than adults.

“Although more research is needed, it is thought that chlorine and its by-products, when inhaled or swallowed, can attack the cellular barriers in the lungs that protect them from allergens,” Dr Andrew Wright, professor of dermatology at the University of Bradford, said.

Chlorine has shown other worrying results, with Dr Wright revealing that last month alone 33 people visiting the Wild Duck Holiday Park near Great Yarmouth in England were admitted to hospital after accidental chlorine overdose. This resulted in vomiting, struggling to breathe and eyes streaming.

Dr Wright believes other methods of keeping pools clean should be taken up, such as ozone filtration. This is when oxygen in the form of ozone gas is pumped through the water before it’s filtered.

“It’s these toxic by-products [chloramines] that give off that tell-tale ‘bleach’ smell we associate with swimming pools and cause problems,” Dr Wright noted, adding that when the by-products are combined with debris found in pools, like skin particles and body oils, problems can occur. 

He recommends washing chlorine out as soon as you exit the pool to lower chances of health problems.


Ozone use in pools is common.  Not only does ozone improve pool safety, but it is more enjoyable also.  Ozone has no smell to the water, and does not bleach hair and clothing.

Ozone systems can easily be implemented on existing pools or new construction.  Controlling ozone levels is easy, at least easier than complicated chlorine test kits.

We can provide turnkey ozone injection systems for this application:

OXS Ozone Injection System
OXS Ozone Injection System can be used for swimming pool water
AOS Ozone Injection System for swimming pool water treatment
AOS Ozone System can be used for pool water treatment

Chlorine vs Ozone use in swimming pools?

How chlorine in swimming pools is giving children ASTHMA, leading expert warns

By Angela Epstein

Why on earth are we still using chlorine in our swimming pools? Chlorine is a potent irritant for anyone who has eczema – which means that millions of Britons who suffer from this common skin condition are prevented from enjoying a pleasurable, healthy – and often very cheap – leisure activity.

What’s more, it’s actually potentially harmful – some studies have found that the chlorine used in pools can increase a youngster’s risk of asthma up to six-fold. Rates of hay fever and other types of allergies are also said to be increased.

Meanwhile scientists believe that commonly-found airborne chemicals, such as chlorine from pools and compounds found in cleaning products, could be behind the five-fold increase in inherited allergies during the past 50 years: exposure to these chemicals may be altering an unborn child’s immune system, leaving them more sensitive to conditions such as eczema, asthma and hay fever.

Chlorine is a potent irritant for anyone who has eczema. Millions of Britons who suffer from this skin condition


Chlorine is a potent irritant for anyone who has eczema. Millions of Britons who suffer from this skin condition


Babies may be at particular risk of asthma because their lungs are still developing and they tend  to swallow irritant-laden water while swimming.

And a study of 50 elite athletes, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found that almost all of the swimmers in the group had inflamed lung tissue, with those who spent the most time at the pool showing the most changes. Could this have been linked to their exposure to chlorine – since the toxic by-products of chlorine settle at surface level, just where they would be breathed in?

Admittedly, more research is needed on this potential link, but I know from my dermatology clinics there are many people who are unable to go swimming because chemicals in the water severely irritate their skin.

Of course, if we want our swimming pools to be clean and hygienic, then they need to be treated with a strong disinfectant to keep them free from bacteria.

On the other hand, with soaring rates of obesity among both children and adults, there is a societal obligation to encourage people to exercise and keep fit.

In fact we could resolve this seemingly unresolvable problem – keeping our pools both clean and eczema-friendly – if we junked traditional cleaning chemicals such as chlorine and bromine and replaced them instead with ozone filtration.

Babies may be at particular risk of asthma because their lungs are still developing


Babies may be at particular risk of asthma because their lungs are still developing


Chemicals such as chlorine disinfect pools but, as a by-product of the process, they also combine with the detritus of swimmers – dead skin, bacteria, urine, sweat and body oils – to form substances known as chloramines.

It is these chloramines, not the chlorine itself, that are responsible for eye and nose irritation, skin problems and the typical pungent swimming pool smell.

With ozone filtration, ozone gas – a form of oxygen – is pumped into the water, where it reacts immediately with the contaminants. It acts as a flocculent, that is, it causes the contaminants to remain in a suspended state so that they can be easily removed by the standard water filtration process – without producing skin-irritating by-products.

This cleaning system is equally, if not more, effective and is much kinder to skin.

‘Chlorine is potentially harmful – some studies have found that the chlorine used in pools can increase a youngster’s risk of asthma up to six-fold’

Yet just a handful of public  pools in London and two in Yorkshire have this superior cleaning system.

Without a change in statute requiring public pools to switch  to ozone filtration, nothing will  get done.

However, despite my many attempts to lobby MPs about initiating such a change, I’m met with either polite disinterest or glassy-eyed indifference – even though I sit on an all-party Parliamentary committee on skin.

There haven’t been attempts to field even a feeble fight about the cost, though this would only amount to the higher initial  capital cost of installing a new filtration system.

Once in place, ozone filtration could reduce the ongoing operating and maintenance costs because it is less damaging to  the infrastructure of a pool  than chlorine.

And when you consider the incalculable and potentially fatal cost of a child who fails to learn to swim because their eczema precluded them from getting into the local pool, then it doesn’t take much to do the maths.

Suffering with red, itchy, angry skin is difficult enough.

Not being able to take a swim when a solution exists to this mounting problem is, quite  simply, discrimination.

Andrew Wright is professor  of dermatology at the University  of Bradford.