The Effects of Bromine Used in Swimming Pools

Bromine is a chemical occasionally used in swimming pools that can cause negative health effects.

Bromine is a chemical occasionally used in swimming pools that can cause negative health effects.

Chlorine is an extremely common swimming pool disinfectant used in residential and commercial pools, but studies have shown the harmful health effects of this dangerous chemical. To offer a solution, a few pool owners have looked to bromine to help counteract the negative effects of chlorine, or limit the use of chlorine in their pools.

The chemical is a member of the Halogen family, and is similar to chlorine because it’s highly reactive in water. But this chemical isn’t as beneficial as people think, and can often lead to health problems later on down the road.

Some pool owners choose bromine because bromamines (the byproduct produced during a chemical reaction) are less likely to become airborne. They remain in the water, instead of rising in the air to be inhaled by swimmers. And swimmers complain less about the “chlorine” smell that heavily rests in the air around a swimming pool.

The chemical does come in tablet form, and is much slower to dissolve than chlorine. Because of its slow-dissolving quality, pool owners need special equipment to apply it into the water.

Although bromine doesn’t give off an unnatural odor, it doesn’t work well with cyanuric acid. In an outdoor pool, bromine is susceptible to UV degradation from the sun. That means pool owners would have to add more of the chemical more often to control the pool’s sanitation level.

Now let’s get to the negative health effects.

Much like chlorine, splashing liquid bromine on the skin causes chemical burns and extensive damage. Soap and warm water can minimize irritation, but constantly lugging around harmful pool chemicals only increases this risk.

Some swimmers experience red, irritated skin once they swim in water that’s been treated with bromine. Dermatitis, red patches, rashes and blisters can happen in more serious cases. Skin rashes and irritations occur in swimmers once the level of contaminants in the pool rises. The contaminants react with bromine and produce byproducts that are irritating (it’s much similar to chloramines).

Although bromine can be used in swimming pools, it’s typically more commonly found in spas. The chemical doesn’t break down easily in hot water, so it’s favored over chlorine. But because it’s more stable in water than chlorine, it’s also not as easy to wash off. So showering and rinsing off after swimming doesn’t always guarantee preventing these side effects.

There’s a simple solution to completely counteract the negative effects of this chemical: ultraviolet disinfection systems. SpectraLight can be used in a swimming pool, spa or both while reducing chemical use up to 90 percent. Not only are bromine symptoms eliminated, but also negative effects from other harmful chemicals.

And you won’t have to worry about transporting these chemicals and risk splashing on your skin and clothes. To learn more about ultraviolet disinfection systems and to start experiencing clean, healthy swimming pool water, go HERE.

  • Sanjana

    In my swimming pool in the backyard of my house, I use salt instead of chemicals.I never got any rashes or anything.

    • david bradford

      Sanja, wrong. Your swimming pool uses the salt to make chlorine by electronically removing the sodium. You have a lot of chlorine in your pool

  • Danny

    Could I please get a name for the person who wrote this?

  • Mamta Thakur

    Bromine is used in everyday products and this is basically water treatment solution. Bromine is a dark Red gas fuming toxic liquid with a choking that has a pungent smell and irritate the skin nose and eyes.

    Best chlorine tablets for swimming pool

  • Monique Lepage

    Sanjana what kind of salt?