The CDC released a study on Thursday, claiming that last summer, they found 58% of fecal bacteria in the water samples taken from 150 swimming pools in Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties, in Atlanta. While no illness or outbreak was tied to the pools, health officials advised people to shower before swimming and not to swim if they have diarrhea.
Health officials found plenty of evidence suggesting that many recreational waters contain pathogens. Contrary to popular belief that chlorine kills bacteria instantly, is inaccurate. Pathogens can survive in chlorinated water for many days. In this case, water can be ingested or even penetrate broken skin enough to cause recreational water illness. CDCP’s Healthy Swimming Program inspected the pool’s filter and found many types of bacteria, especially e-Coli, which is usually apparent in animal feces.
Michele Hlavsa of CDC further added that many swimming pool users do not follow basic hygiene practices. She said that people should stop treating pools as toilets. Hlavsa reports that aside from e-coli, they also found other pathogens in diarrhea called Giardia and Cryptosporidium. She explains that an average person has 14 grams of feces in their rear end. A small amount might not pose a danger, but if 1000 swimmers go into a pool with at least 10 grams of poop, it translates to 24 pounds of poop in the water.
Why People are Drawn to Pools
Discovery Health states that swimming pools provide relaxing activities, and health benefits, especially to elderly people. Swimming pools are a great place to perform aerobic exercises that strengthen the heart. Swimming is a good activity for strength training, improving flexibility, and stretching. Athletes also perform therapies in the pool for post workouts or injury training.
Swimming is a low-impact exercise. It tones the muscles, loosen stiff joints, and offer arthritis relief. Swimming pools even offer people a new way of losing weight. Swimming is considered one of the strongest fat burners. Research reveals that for every 10-minutes of swimming, you generally burn 60 calories.
Other swimming styles like butterfly and breast stroke, offers even greater calorie burning power. According to Science daily, swimming pools are great places for exercise to abate asthma symptoms. It offers many asthma sufferers a way to learn proper breathing techniques and increase lung volume.
Types and shapes of swimming pools
Most homes have their own private pools, but others come to public recreational waters like hotels and community pools. Each type represents different functions. Play pools, for example, are generally shallower and usually used for relaxing, playing pool games, and for doing swimming laps. A diving pool is 8 to 9 feet deep and comes with a diving platform. Lap pools are narrower and shallow; they are specially built for health and fitness. The spool is a combination of a spa and pool, usually present in fine homes, hotels, and resorts. Lastly, the perimeter overflow pool is a popular type because it creates a mirror illusion, which is an upscale type found in luxurious hotels.
Swimming Pools Hazards
While swimming pools offer numerous benefits, they can be hazardous to people with implantable cardioverter defibrillators or pacemakers. ICD and pacemakers monitors control the patient’s heart rhythm. Recent reports state that a leak in pool utilities such as in lighting can cause an ICD device to misread the heart’s status. There have been reports that people with such devices experience unwarranted shocks while in swimming pools.
The report also adds that if the device goes awry when a magnetic interference occurs, it can cause arrhythmia. The heart may beat too fast or slow if the electric system malfunctions and can pose a serious threat to life. The director of Heart Rhythm Society, Dr. John Day says, that it could be a potential problem; and he urged patients with ICD to think of pool safety first.
Written by: Janet Grace Ortigas