Dear Andrea: I'm a registered massage therapist, specializing in aquatic therapy and am seeing a new patient who has some lumbar issues and a knee that might need replacing down the road. She is also presently receiving chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. While there needs to be no discussion about the positive effects of immersion for her back and knee, my concern is with the effects of the chlorine in the pool while she's undergoing chemo. My pool is chlorinated while her pool in her hometown is salt-water. What advice can you share about the effects of chlorine in conjunction with chemotherapy?
Questioning in Seattle
Dear Questioning: Thank you for your question. Salt water pools are still chlorinated pools. State statute requires that all public pools have a halogen (e.g. chlorine/bromine) in them for sanitation. A "salt water" pool is just a pool that brings chlorine in a solid (NaCl or salt) and the uses electricity to split the Na from the Cl (thus rendering Chlorine). It's really not necessarily any easier on your skin. For more info on salt water generation, see Alison Osinski's info here
http://www.alisonosinski.com/?p=419 (tab down to inline generator);
A better choice may be a pool that doesn't just rely on a stand-alone halogen for disinfection. Look for a pool that uses a supplemental system like ozone or ultraviolet light. These systems have dual options for disinfecting the water so that a lower level of halogen can be used. More info here:
I hope this helps!