Help with advice for swimming pool?

Whilst swimming is one of the very best things asthmatics can do to help them keep fit and keep their asthma under control, unfortunately for my son and I it's not always the case at our local pool.

We both swim with the local club and the pool staff take the opportunity of using training times to clean the changing rooms with some quite nasty chemicals. The cleaning chemicals and equipment are now kept in a room on the poolside! This has been going on for years and has caused problems for various swimmers with some having to give up swimming altogether and some preferring to drive (or get their parents to drive) the 40 mile round trip to the next nearest pool for training there (I live out in the sticks).

Is there any printed out information that we can pass on to the pool staff to impress on them the seriousness of this? The club have got involved and contacted the council about it, but it still continues. What can we do?

I recently ordered some of the information leaflets so that I could pass them on but I was disappointed to see that a vital step is missing from the ""What to do in an asthma attack"" card. Surely the very first step is to remove the person well away from the cause of the attack before using a reliever inhaler? Taking a reliever inhaler when still in the vicinity of the cause of the attack will just mean that more is inhaled so worsening the situation.

I have been through this recently at my local pool. I specifically asked the attendants if the changing rooms were being cleaned and was told no, so I thought it was safe to use my reliever inhaler. Unfortunately although the changing rooms weren't being cleaned the cleaning fluid is stored in a room on the poolside so it was cleaning chemical fumes that were causing the problem just not from active cleaning, and I was then able to take a really good lungful of them. I swam properly for the first time today, it's been 4-5 weeks.

All advice welcome.

2 Replies

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  • Hi Jfs, if you are definitely sure the cleaning chemicals are making people's asthma worse, then my advice to you is to confront the Manager of the pool to get these chemicals removed and get a different method of cleaning products which are free from chemicals which are triggering asthma attacks or making people's asthma worse.

    At the end of the day, if they start to lose a few hundred members, it going to

    cost the council far more in the long run, than to remove this chemical and

    replace it to a more environmently friendly product if it is proved to be causuIng the trigger factors.

    In addition, an Environmental Health Officer from the COUNCIL should be approached

    as this may be a health issue which I think he/she should have a duty to take

    on board and carry out an investigation to get the matter rectified.

    Most of us with asthma are struggling and trying to keep ourselves free from trigger factors daily.

    This is why, I would take the matter further for your own benefit and others whose

    lungs are very different from non-asthmatics who may have no day-to-day experiences of

    asthma triggers or asthma itself. And, perhaps, be less concerned about the problem

    unless, they had a family member with the condition themselves to understand or experience what it's like..

    All the best.

    Hope this helps in some way.

    Liam.

  • Hi Liam,

    Thanks for that. I have contacted the council about it. It's an ongoing issue. Just very annoying that they're taking no notice, and they have even changed a poolside room into a chemical store since my bringing it to their attention in August.

    I have tried looking for information to give to them about asthma, their responsibility as a public building etc but couldn't find anything suitable. I did order stuff from this website about what to do in an asthma attack, but felt that it was inappropriate, as I don't agree with the advice. I was very disappointed that an asthma charity didn't have the best advice available, so I won't be passing that on without amending it.

    They're definitely not going to lose a few hundred swimmers though, that's maybe the total number of regular swimmers who use the pool (including all the club swimmers). :) In some ways that's what makes it worse, as this is a small rural community and the lifeguards know the regular swimmers (generally by name), so they know the people who they are harming.

    Thanks.

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