Exposure levels to brominated compounds in seawater swimming pools treated with chlorine


  • Parinet Julien
  • Tabaries Sophie
  • Coulomb Bruno
  • Vassalo Laurent
  • Boudenne Jean-Luc

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Despite evidence of formation of brominated compounds in seawater swimming pools treated with chlorine, no data about exposure levels to these compounds have been reported. To address this issue, a survey has been carried out in four establishments (representing 8 pools) fed with seawater and devoted to relaxing and cure treatments (thalassotherapy centres located in Southeast of France). Carcinogenic and mutagenic brominated disinfection byproducts (trihalomethanes -THM- and halogenated acetic acids -HAA-) were quantified at varying levels, statistically related to organic loadings brought by bathers, and not from marine organic matter, and also linked to activities carried out in the pools (watergym vs swimming). Bromoform and dibromoacetic acid, the most abundant THM and HAA detected, were measured at levels up to 18-fold greater than the maximum contaminant levels of 60 and 80 mu g/L fixed by US.EPA in drinking waters. The correlations between these disinfection byproducts and other environmental factors such as nitrogen, pH, temperature, free residual chlorine, UV254, chloride and bromide concentrations, and daily frequentation were examined. Because thalassotherapy and seawater swimming pools (hotels, cruise ships, ...) are increasing in use around the world and because carcinogenic and mutagenic brominated byproducts may be produced in chlorinated seawater swimming pools, specific care should be taken to assure cleanliness of users (swimmers and patients taking the waters) and to increase water circulation through media filters to reduce levels of brominated byproducts. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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