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Indoor Swimming Pools Linked to Childhood Asthma - European Study Shows Increased Rate of Wheezing In Children From Western Countries

July 17th 2006

Indoor Swimming Pools Linked to Childhood Asthma - European Study Shows Increased Rate of Wheezing In Children From Western Countries

Swimming Pool

European researchers believe that there may be a relation between indoor swimming pools and childhood asthma.  The researchers compared countries in Europe with the number indoor swimming pools.  They found that countries with more indoor swimming pools had 2 to 3 percent increased number of asthma cases. 

The research involved almost 190,000 young teenagers (13 and 14 year olds) from 21 countries across Europe.  The number of indoor swimming pools varied by a factor of 20 between Eastern and Western Europe.  There was one indoor pool for every 50,000 inhabitants in Western Europe and one for every 300,000 inhabitants in Eastern Europe.


The researchers took into account other factors including the gross domestic product (GDP) of a country, climate, and altitude.  The prevalence of asthma and wheeze was strongly associated with the number of indoor pools per 100,000 inhabitants.

They found that the rate of wheezing rose by 3.39 per cent for every additional indoor chlorinated swimming pool.  Asthma cases also rose 2.73 per cent for every additional pool. 

The authors believe that the rise of asthma in Western Europe could partly be attributed to the increasing exposure of children to the by-products of chlorine in the air and water of indoor swimming pools. 


The research was published ahead of print in the journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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Dan Wilson
Best Syndication

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Keywords and misspellings:  asma astma alergy ezema

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