Evidence Of Chlorine-Asthma Link Deemed Inconclusive

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Over the past decade, concerns have been raised about the effect of chlorine on swimmer health. Perhaps most notably, a team led by Dr. Alfred Bernard, research director at the National Fund for Scientific Research and professor at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, has published several papers suggesting a link between attendance at chlorinated swimming pools and childhood asthma.

In response, The Belgian Superior Health Council has recently issued a scientific opinion that the papers do not provide sufficient evidence to make the link between ?pool attendance and asthma.

The Health Council reexamined the full set of publications done by the Bernard team, and identified flaws in the performed study descriptions and noted that the results were not confirmed by other researchers.?The Health Council deemed the research valuable, but inconclusive. 

In summary, the Health Council wrote, “A relationship between swimming pool attendance and childhood asthma has not been confirmed, but cannot yet be excluded.”

It is the position of AQUA magazine that more scientific investigation is needed both on the potential health risks of swimming in chlorinated pools and the health benefits of regular aquatic exercise and hot tub use.

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