Health Articles | Research

Keep The Doors Closed


As swimmers and coaches, we have all been there…during a busy practice or meet, the air quality gets rough, and someone props open an outside door to let fresh air in. The cooler air provides relief for those near it, and some people even put fans in front of the doors to move the air further into the pool. It makes sense, right?

Wrong. But hey, when we were coaches and lifeguards, we opened doors too; we didn’t know any better. This message today is for anyone who opens doors to their indoor pool, especially in the winter time. Please stop doing it…opening doors is making the air quality worse.

It sounds odd to say that, doesn’t it? The truth is, the little bit of outside air you’re introducing into the natatorium is usually causing more harm than good, for several reasons. When it’s cold outside, the air you’re bringing in through the doors is unconditioned, and therefore adds a tremendous amount of stress on the building’s HVAC system. As swimmers and coaches, however, you probably think like we do—health is far more important than the efficiency of an HVAC system. We believe everyone deserves to breathe healthy air, and that the aquatics and HVAC industry experts have a moral imperative to deliver it to all pool users. The problem is, opening doors does far more than just stress the HVAC system…it creates more airborne pollution.

If you have read our articles on SwimSwam, you know that chloramine related air quality issues are inevitable, and caused by basic chemistry and air physics. Opening doors complicates the air physics, by encouraging faster evaporation of the pool water.  Cold air lowers the vapor pressure pushing down against the pool water, which allows for a faster rate of pool evaporation.  With more evaporation comes more chloramines, and thus begins a vicious cycle of bad air quality.

In summary, we know that opening doors makes those near it feel better, and provides some short term relief for swimmers and coaches on deck. But in reality, it’s doing more harm than good by not only stressing the HVAC system, but also increasing the rate of chloramine pollution in the air. There is a better way to handle these issues, and we encourage you to research the affects of bad air quality for yourself.

SwimSwam Article: 4 Ways Swimming Became Healthier In 2014

Swimming has always been considered a “healthy” sport – it has low impact on our joints and bones, makes us use muscles we typically would not use, and is a great cardio workout, burning many calories. Swimming also continues to grow in popularity and participation levels are at an all-time high. All of which are great things we love to see happening. But in the last year, the swim community has managed to make swimming even healthier. Click the link below to read 4 ways that swimming became an even healthier sport in 2014.

SwimSwam Article: 4 Way Swimming Became Healthier in 2014

SwimSwam Article: Breathe Like A Champion

The Paddock Evacuator System creates a pristine breathing environment, helping athletes train harder and longer in indoor pools.

Interview: Dr. Andrew Chadeayne

An Interview with Dr. Andrew Chadeayne, Founder & President of Swim Spray.

Greensboro gets YMCA Short Course National Championships through 2017

The Paddock Evacuator helps GAC secure the YMCA Short Course National Championships for 3 more years.

SwimSwam Open Letter: Air Quality From A Pool Owner’s Perspective

Bob McCallister, Aquatics Manager for Cobb County, Georgia, shares his testimonial of how he finally conquered bad air quality in his four indoor pools.

Swimming World Magazine – The Air Up There

An exciting article about the recent success at GAC to fix their air quality issues during the 2014 YMCA Nationals.

SwimSwam: Pool Indoor Air Quality: Why It Matters To Your Health and Performance (Part 3)

Part 3 of a series featured on SwimSwam to educate all of those in the aquatics industry about indoor air quality.

USA TODAY: “Peeing in the pool can actually be bad for you”

USA Today posted an article on a study researching peeing in the pool.

Environmental Health News: Urine + Chlorine May Equal Health Risks At Pools

“Exposure to trichloramine at pools has been linked to reduced lung function in adult swimmers, and itchy eyes, runny nose and voice loss in lifeguards.”

SwimSwam: Pool Indoor Air Quality: Why It Matters To Your Health and Performance (Part 2)

Part 2 of a series featured on SwimSwam to educate all of those in the aquatics industry about indoor air quality.

SwimSwam: Pool Indoor Air Quality: Why It Matters To Your Health and Performance (Part 1)

Part 1 of a series featured on SwimSwam to educate all of those in the aquatics industry about indoor air quality.

Winter Swimming with Healthier Indoor Pool Air

Indoor pool air quality issues are inevitable. The author realizes this, and points out ways that both swimmers and operators can help – along with having proper ventilation of the pool space.

USA Swimming – The Air Quality Issue

A great research article by USA Swimming focusing on air quality in indoor aquatic facilities.

CDC – Chemical Irritants (Chloramines) & Indoor Pool Air Quality

An article by the CDC regarding chloramines and indoor air quality issues they present.

Lifeguard Lung: Endemic Granulomatous Pneumonitis in an Indoor Swimming Pool

A direct correlation was found between indoor pool air quality and the permanent lung-scarring disease, granulomatous pneumonitis (“Lifeguard Lung”).

CDC Report – Investigation of Employee Symptoms at an Indoor Waterpark

Their Conclusion: “Managers should further assess the ventilation system to ensure enough air movement and proper removal of contaminants.”

Pediatric Respiratory Disease

Medical study showing young children exposed to chloramines can become predisposed to asthma for the rest of their lives.

Indoor Air Pollution at Indoor Swimming Pools

Another great read on indoor air quality in indoor pool facilities, dating back to April 2011. This has been an ongoing problem for years – Paddock Evacuator Company is here to help!