A pilot study addressed potential effects of long-term exposure to chlorination products in swimming pools. The indicator compound chloroform was detectable in blood from competitive swimmers in an indoor pool (mean = 0.89 +/- 0.34 microgram/l; n = 10), but not in outdoor pool swimmers. No hepatotoxic effect was indicated by serum glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (SGOT), serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) or gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (gamma-GT) enzyme levels. beta-2-microglobulin, an indicator of renal damage, was significantly elevated in urine samples of the slightly, but significantly, younger indoor swimmers. The precise ratio between these 2 possible causes, age and chloroform exposure, as well as the mechanism of the former, remain to be elucidated.