Kevin Yarberry is one of about 10 million swimming pool owners in America. He cleans and maintains his backyard pool himself, making sure it has the appropriate balance of chemicals. Too much chlorine exposure was something he thought about before he put in the pool.
"After some research online mainly and talking to some of the local pool stores we came to the conclusion that it was not really that big of a deal as long as you stay on top of it," says Yarberry.
Kevin is smart to take such care. A new study shows that many people have dangerous levels of chlorine products in their systems after swimming. These haloacetic acids have been linked to birth defects and cancer. Children have even higher levels perhaps because they are more likely to swallow pool water. It's something he regularly reminds his daughter to avoid.
"She was two when we put the pool in and from that point forward we made it clear that it was not acceptable to swallow the water," says Yarberry.
Chlorine is used to kill harmful bacteria in pools, but it's also used in drinking water.
Swimmers shouldn't be too alarmed at the study's findings because properly maintained pools actually have concentrations less than those in the water we drink.
Swim with your mouth closed and make sure you follow recommended guidelines for the chemicals in your pool or hire a trained professional to do it for you. There's too much at risk to ignore the responsibility.