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Chlorine Allergy or Sensitivity?

Although, technically speaking you can’t be allergic to chlorine, some people are more affected by it. The term ‘chlorine allergy’ is often used to describe the allergic-like symptoms experienced from being sensitive to the chemical. Allergy or sensitivity, contact with chlorine when your body reacts to it, can be a pain.

What is chlorine?

Chlorine is a toxic, green/ yellow gas at room temperature. Despite being a poisonous gas and used in chemical warfare, chlorine has other uses. Chlorine is a disinfectant and kills bacteria. For this reason it is commonly used in the treatment of drinking water and swimming pools.

Am I being exposed to chlorine?

Research has shown that frequent exposure to chlorine can cause heightened sensitivity to the chemical. If you are a keen swimmer, going to your local pool several times a week you could be affected. Equally, if you are a professional cleaner or use cleaning products every day for a few hours you can be at risk of developing symptoms.

Unfortunately chlorine is also a feature of our water supply and can irritate sensitive skin and aggravate existing skin conditions. Whilst the amount found in our drinking water is not at concentrations found in swimming pools or cleaning products, it can still cause skin, hair and respiratory problems.

Chlorine sensitivity symptoms

Chlorine sensitivity can cause nasal, respiratory and skin problems. Nasal symptoms include; having a runny nose, sneezing more than normal and nasal congestion. The respiratory system can be affected through airway inflammation as a result of exposure to chlorine. Respiratory symptoms such as a persistent cough, shortness of breath or chest tightness should be checked by a doctor. Skin symptoms can present as itchy, red and irritated skin.

Sensitive to Chlorine; what do I do?

If you suspect that you have a mild sensitivity to chlorine there are ways you can manage your symptoms and avoid excessive contact with the chemical.

  • Aloe vera gel – apply the gel to naturally soothe symptoms of chlorine sensitivity on the skin.
  • Nose clip while swimming – we don’t recommend giving up swimming altogether but if you suffer from nasal symptoms, try out a nose clip the next time you get in the pool.
  • Swimming cap – protect your hair from the drying effects of chlorine in the pool by wearing a well-fitting swim cap.
  • Chlorine removal shower products – use a chlorine removal shower gel and shampoo after swimming to make sure that you’re not left with chlorine residue on your skin and hair.
  • Shower filter – to ensure that the chlorine in your tap water is not further irritating your skin and drying out your hair, install a shower water filter. It’s a simple solution to removing chlorine and other contaminants from your water supply.

For more information on how a water filter system can help you remove chlorine from your water supply, get in touch with our experts. Our water filter professionals will find the best solution to your water worries.