Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Everybody out of the pool

With summer just around the corner, here's another thing to add to your list of worries, along with sunburn, heat exhaustion and drowning: Belgian researchers suspect that the chlorine in swimming pools may cause asthma. A gas called trichloramine that's released when chlorinated water meets human byproducts like sweat and urine (reason enough right there to stay out of the pool) has been fingered as an irritant that triggers proteins that damage the lungs; according to the AFP report, "the children who swam most frequently had protein levels of the kind found in regular smokers."

Which only confirms to me the wisdom of my personal summer plan for my kids, which is to keep them in the air-conditioned house watching TV until I can safely deliver them to school again in September. Apparently we'll all be breathing easier.

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