City Pool Making Children Sick Parents called in the Larimer County Health Department after their children became ill from swimming in the Chilson Center public indoor swiming pool.
Loveland - April 8, 2013
Loveland children were reported to be experiencing breathing problems and other alarming health concerns after swimming in Loveland's indoor public pool located at the Chilson Center (Hatfield Chilson Recreation/Senior Center) in Loveland last Thursday. Parents reported to LovelandPolitics their children were coughing, rubbing their red eyes and had some skin discoloration all following exposure to the water at Loveland's primary indoor swimming pool.
One parent called the Larimer County Health Department and his suspicions of a dangerous chemical in the water were confirmed. According to Doug Ryan, Larimer County Department of Health and Environment, the city had placed excessive amounts of chlorine in the water. The county health official stated in an email accessible to the public via the county's website,
"I have the information from the inspection at the pool on Friday. Its basically as we thought - elevated levels of chloramines that cause breathing irritation. "
Chloramines are derivatives of the dangerous chemical ammonia by substitution of one, two or three hydrogen atoms with chlorine atoms. When too much chlorine is put into a swimming pool it reacts with bodily proteins and forms chloramines. Chloramines are volatile and common in the air above poorly maintained indoor swimming pools causing nitrogen trichloride which restricts breathing and could cause serious injury or even death to the aged, infirmed or very young if the concentrations are too high.
In lay terms, the interaction between chlorine and humane skin oil, urine and other contaminants in the pool forms chloramine overtime which acts like ammonia thus causing breathing problems, irritated skin and discoloration of the eyes among other symptoms. Chloramine is a common problem in backyard hot tubs when owners fail to replace and filter the water on a regular basis.
Upon learning of the situation from county health inspectors, Loveland Parks & Recreation officials began venting the pool enclosure area but no word yet on whether it will be closed until the chloramine is removed or if city officials will pro-actively notify the public and media about the health hazard in a city facility. A recent check of the city's website today and the Chilson Center facebook page confirm no public warning has been issued.
According to one parent, his son had trouble breathing Thursday night while developing a nasty cough after swimming in the city's pool. After a restless night, the 10 year-old awoke with dark purple areas under his irritated eyes.
If you or your children used the Chilson Center pool during the past week you should seek medical advice while also consulting the website Chloramine Information Center for more information.