What causes this eye & skin irritation? We have been raised hearing the phrase “too much chlorine”. This is not usually the cause of eye or skin irritation in swimming pools. Most often eye and skin irritation is caused by one of the following:
- Insufficient sanitizer levels – Although swimmers often complain that the chlorine is burning their eyes or irritating their skin, it is, in fact, usually a sign that there is not enough chlorine in the pool. When nitrogen and hypochlorous acid combine, chloramines (spent chlorine) are formed. The chloramines no longer kill bacteria and the water smells bad, giving off a chlorine-like smell. These chloramines also tend to irritate the eyes. When this occurs, the chloramines must be oxidized by the use of chlorine or a non-chlorine oxidizer. So actually when swimmers think that a pool has too much chlorine because it is burning their eyes or because of the odor, it is most likely that it needs more chlorine or a non-chlorine oxidizer.
- Incorrect pH – The recommended pH level for a swimming pool is 7.2 to 7.6. This level is fairly easy on the eyes and skin. However, if the pH gets outside of this recommended range, it can cause eye or skin irritation. Low pH tends to irritate the eyes and skin more than high pH.
Now what to do about the irritated eyes & skin—Eye drops will usually provide relief for irritated eyes. To treat irritated skin, taking a shower and then using a moisturizing lotion will usually do the trick