Chlorine is present in any treated swimming pool. An individual is exposed to chlorine every time he/she goes for a swim in any swimming pool. Those who love to spend the weekends swimming in their pools are constantly exposed to the chemical without experiencing any effects on the health. On the other hand, there are some individuals who are not exposed to chlorine regularly, thus they will notice a few symptoms once they get in contact with chlorine. It is important that you know what to expect particularly the symptoms that can occur if an individual is exposed to chlorine.
Uses of chlorine
It cannot be denied that chlorine has various uses but it is most commonly used on swimming pools as a treatment. Chlorine is mainly used for sanitation purposes as well as to disinfect the water on a regular basis. It is also present in some household cleaners due to its disinfecting property.
What happens if chlorine is inhaled?
Always take note that chlorine dissolves in water and also bleach. On the other hand, in order to be fully exposed to chlorine, it would be due to an accidental leak or spill. Once chlorine is at room temperature, it is in a gas state, thus an individual can be easily exposed by inhaling the gas.
Low level of inhalation exposure to chlorine can cause irritation to the skin, eyes and the chest. It can also cause cough or a sore throat. As for high levels of exposure to chlorine, it can cause chest tightness and wheezing.
What happens if chlorine is ingested?
Since chlorine dissolves in water, ingestion is another way an individual is exposed to the chemical. Even though this is rare, it is still possible. Once this occurs, it can cause damage to the gastrointestinal tract and the individual can experience nausea and vomiting.
Contact with the skin or eyes
Once the individual gets in contact with low levels of chlorine, the skin or eyes can become irritated. As for higher levels of exposure to chlorine, it can likely lead to burns or ulcerations.
Most cases of chlorine exposure can be managed by simply flushing the affected area. If the eyes have been in contact with chlorine, all you have to do is to flush the eyes with water. If chlorine spilled on the skin, you have to rinse it thoroughly with water. In case chlorine has been ingested, do not provide the individual with water to drink or even induce vomiting. You have to seek emergency care right away.
Allergy to chlorine
In some cases, an individual might be allergic to chlorine. If this is the case, the individual must consult a doctor so that allergy testing can be performed in order to pinpoint the exact allergen that triggers an allergic response. In case chlorine is the allergen, the individual must avoid any contact with the chemical if possible.