I just got back into the pool. Well, I was never really much of a swimmer, but I've gone twice this week, and I'm loving it. I plan to do a lot more splashing around. Both of my kids have taken swimming lessons for years because I think it's important for them to learn to swim and be comfortable in the water. Plus it's fun, and it's great exercise! Our local community center pool is probably no different than any other -- they use chlorine. Most days I don't think it smells overwhelmingly chlorine-y, and it doesn't seem to bother my kids. We always shower after swimming to get any residue off our bodies.
But it does make me stop and think: I've taken steps to use bleach-free, biodegradable laundry detergent and other skin products that don't contain harsh chemicals -- but then we go submerge ourselves in a pool of chlorine. Hmm. Chlorine has been linked to asthma and allergies and other respiratory ailments in children. But I have no intention of NOT swimming now -- there really isn't an alternative. You hear about chlorine-free swimming pools and greener alternatives, but we don't have access to them. Do you?
It's kind of like the mattress issue: you recognize that traditional mattresses are loaded with flame-retardant chemicals and other nastiness, yet if you can't afford the natural rubber or organic mattress, then you just kind of plug your ears and go along, making changes where you can. At least that's what I do! I'd love to see community pools transition to greener waters, but until they do we'll just keep swimming in our local pool.
What about you? Where do you swim? Has the chlorine issue affected your decision to swim or not to swim in pools? Or are you exclusively a lake and natural water-swimmer (brr)?