July 01, 2013
1 min read

High trichloramine levels increased airway hyper-reactivity risk

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High trichloramine levels in swimming pools increased the prevalence of airway hyper-reactivity, accompanied by symptoms of upper and lower airways, according to the results of an abstract presented at the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology–World Allergy Organization Congress in Milan.

The study evaluated 22 competitive swimmers and six coaches. Researchers measured symptoms, dynamic lung volumes, fraction exhaled nitric oxide and airway hyper-reactivity.

Researchers found that measured trichloramine concentrations in the air exceeded the maximal allowed concentration of 0.5 mg/m3 four times between May and October 2011 and four times between January and March 2012. Polyamine compounds that were present in glue used to repair pipe work of the overflow duct of the swimming pool were identified as the most probable source of nitrogen capable of producing excess trichloramine in April 2012.

They also found that the mean fraction exhaled nitric oxide level was 16 ± 9.7 ppb. Common symptoms included blocked or runny nose (n=6) dyspnea (n=13) cough (n=16) or tearing eyes (n=10). Airway hyperactivity was found in 22 of 26 participants.

“This study indicated that there is an urgent need for regulatory authorities to impose a limit for trichloramine in indoor swimming pools in the Flemish part of Belgium,” researchers wrote.

For more information:

Seys SF. Abstract #363. Presented at: EAACI-WAO World Allergy & Asthma Congress; June 22-26, 2013; Milan.