Belgian scientists today reiterated a warning that certain cases of asthma could be linked to swimming in stuffy “chlorinated” indoor pools but chemistry may have the answer, according to charity Allergy UK, which has awarded its “Seal of Approval” to a novel alternative of which hot-tubbing ancient Greek philosopher Archimedes would be proud.
The novel solution involves using copper sulfate at levels permitted for drinking water to temper bacterial blooms in a swimming pool rather than to attempt to destroy them completely. The idea was discovered by the Greeks way back when but is used today by NASA to keep drinking water clean in space.
The product, which goes by the name Pristine Blue, is approved for use in the US, and allows the 1 in 3 kids who suffer an allergic reaction to pool “chlorine” to get in the swim without having to worry about the reaction. It also means an end to stinging eyes, which are caused by pool “chlorine” reacting with nitrogen compounds in sweat and urea that mysteriously make their way into most pools.
The copper sulfate approach also avoids damage to hair, swimming costumes, and pool liners, which normally suffer from the bleaching effects of chlorine.
Allergy UK’s Business Development Director, Jules Payne, said Pristine Blue could transform the lives of millions of families across the UK. “We are very excited to present this award to such a groundbreaking and innovative product,” she said, “The benefits to allergy suffers are immense, and as families prepare for their summer holidays the demand for a chlorine alternative is at its highest.”