Swimming pool chlorination: a health hazard?

Toxicol Lett. 1994 Jun;72(1-3):375-80. doi: 10.1016/0378-4274(94)90051-5.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury
  • Chlorine / adverse effects*
  • Chloroform / blood
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / blood
  • Kidney Diseases / chemically induced
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Liver / physiology
  • Liver Diseases / blood
  • Pilot Projects
  • Risk Factors
  • Swimming Pools*
  • Time Factors
  • beta 2-Microglobulin / metabolism
  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase / blood


  • beta 2-Microglobulin
  • Chlorine
  • Chloroform
  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase