31/03/2011 by Carl Reynolds
Prompted by a plea here from Jenny about ‘chlorine allergy’.
In one word – chlorine. In a few more – even low levels of chlorine react to heat, sweat and piss and create chloramines. These can give you problems breathing and itchy skin. Outdoor pools may use chlorine, but they also rely on UV to keep the contaminants down.
Some advice – avoid indoor pools, particularly those used by young people who are likely to piss unashamedly in them. And those that tend to be overheated – as people sweat more when they swim. See here for more information. Or do a goggle search – ‘chlorine, urine and sweat’.
Greenwich Arches has a pool dedicated to lane only swimming – very slow, slow, medium, fast and crawl only – and is usually below 28 degrees C. And with the occasional lifeguard, as I remember, who was willing to engage with miscreants and inform them that their rapidly moving arms and legs did not make them a fast swimmer.
Crystal Palace pool is also adult friendly and serious swimmer friendly; and has the added advantage of only being £2.40 off peak. Although it’s heated up to 28/29 degrees, the size of the space makes it less hot; and the absence of freely pissing children makes it less rash inducing.
If you can’t stand the thought of cold outdoor swimming or indoor pissoir swimming, you can swim in warm water and outdoors at London Fields Lido (around 26 degrees C) and Hampton Lido (unsure of the temperature), which I am exploring with Big C tomorrow. Let’s hope it’s not coinciding with a day out for the incontinent.