Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Chlorine is bad for you - EVERYBODY PANIC!

It turns out - and this is a real shocker - that working around chlorine causes respiratory problems. It's amazing the kinds of totally unexpected things we learn from government-funded research!

But alright - to be fair, this is a comment on the media, not the research. Establishing that extended chlorine exposure causes respiratory problems isn't very useful, but I guess that this study quantifies the effects of that exposure, which definitely does have some medical worth. Nevertheless, the media reports it simply as "exposure to chlorine causes respiratory problems," which doesn't tell anyone anything they didn't already know, and has, as an added cherry on top, the potential to make people who are not actually at risk worry unduly about the potential dangers of their swimming routine. I mean what next? Smoking causes lung cancer?

But the main thing is this cool line:

One possible way to reduce levels of trichloramines might be to improve hygiene among pool users, they add, although enforcing compliance could be difficult.

Which just goes to show - government regulations are no substitute for basic civilized behavior on the part of the general population. Gotta fix the culture before you can fix the politics (paraphrased from Ayn Rand).

[This is post 300!]


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