Allergic Reactions to Chlorine at Swimming Pools

Written by jeff warshaw
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Allergic Reactions to Chlorine at Swimming Pools
Chlorine allergies can affect the eyes, skin or lungs. (swimming pool image by apeschi from

In order to maintain healthy swimming pool water, pool managers and homeowners often use chlorine as a sanitising agent. WebMD and Healthy Child Healthy World report that for some people, normal chlorine concentrations in pool water can cause allergic reactions that range from minor irritations to life-threatening conditions.

Eye Irritation

Science Line reports that swimming underwater in a chlorine-sanitised pool can lead to eye irritation. Redness, itching and burning of the eyes are among common reactions to chlorine, according to

Skin Reactions

Following exposure to chlorine in swimming pools, some people experience dry skin. indicates that a chlorine allergy can cause skin to feel itchy, flaky and extremely dry. Some people develop redness and rashes as an allergic reaction to chlorine.


Respiratory difficulty can be a very serious allergic reaction to chlorine. A July, 2006 U.S. Masters Swimming article reported a potential relationship between chlorine allergies and asthma, indicating that asthma sufferers are at greater risk for reactions to chlorine exposure in swimming pools.


Chlorine allergy suffers may experience nasal congestion as the body struggles to repel the chemical in an effort to protect itself. Pool Center and U.S. Masters Swimming report nasal congestion and sneezing as common reactions to exposure to chlorine.


Breathing small amounts of chlorine in and around swimming pools can induce coughing, even among swimmers who are not allergic to the chemical. However, WebMD and Pool Center advise that persistent coughing in the presence of chlorine can be an indicator of an allergy.

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