Eye and skin irritation

Eye and skin irritation is a common problem in swimming pools. People mistakenly believe that this problem is caused by too much chlorine in the pool. This is completely false.


There are 2 possible causes of eye and skin irritation:


  1. Improper pH adjustment
  2. Presence of chloramines (combined chlorine)

We will see the solution to each of these problems.


Incorrect pH adjustment


The first thing you need to know is that your eyes have a pH of 7.5. If the pH of the pool water is not the same as your eyes then you will feel irritation. The greater the difference between the pH of the water and your eyes, the more pronounced the discomfort will be.


Therefore, it is important to pay attention to what changes the pH of the water.

  • Added chemicals
  • Rain

Each time a chemical product is added to the pool water, there is a possibility that the pH will change. Here are the products that can drastically affect the pH of the water.


Here is a list of products that imbalances the pH:


  • Chlorine;
  • Adjustment products (pH+, pH-, Alkalinity, Hardness, etc.).

Let’s take a pool with a pH perfectly adjusted between 7.2 and 7.8. A water analysis shows that the chlorine level is low (below 1 ppm). The pool in question is running on granulated chlorine. Granulated chlorine is a product that has a pH of 11, so it is normal that following the addition of
granulated chlorine, the pH of the water increases, which will automatically cause eye and skin irritation. People are accustomed to believe that the problem comes from the quantity of chlorine. This is not the case. The problem is simply the pH of the product.


After each addition of chemical product, you should wait a few hours, do a pH test and readjust it if necessary.


Presence of chloramines (combined chlorine)


Chloramines come from the reaction of chlorine with the organic matter brought in by bathers: sweat, saliva, dead skin, … It is a very volatile gas that gives off a very unpleasant chlorine smell and gives this sensation of irritation to the eyes. You can see chloramines as “bad chlorine” in the
pool. This pollution is created once the chlorine has done its job of disinfection.


Even with a perfectly balanced pH, the eyes will be irritated if there are chloramines in the pool. A level as low as 0.2 ppm will be sufficient to cause eye irritation.


Chloramines are easily detected with a water analysis in the store.


The simplest way is to add a chlorine-free shock treatment to the pool water. You can find this product in stores under the name OXY. We suggest that you put a weekly dose in the pool. The dosage is 120 g per 10,000 litres of water per week. You will therefore avoid any proliferation of chloramines. No matter the level of chloramines, the dosage we have just given you will eliminate them.

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