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Swimming is a terrific low impact exercise that is great for keeping us fit and healthy. But one main drawback is the chlorine, which is usually used to sanitize pools. This chemical sticks to swimmers’ hair and skin and does not simply wash away with soap, water or shampoo. It tends to linger. Thankfully, vitamin C can neutralize the chlorine in many ways, including restoring hair and skin to its natural state.
Chlorine is noted as a skin irritant that can cause skin to become dry and itchy. There is even some evidence that suggests chlorine in swimming pools can increase rates of asthma, cancer and skin and throat irritations. That’s why it’s important to find ways to protect swimmers from chlorine and using vitamin C is chief among these solutions.
Abscorbic acid and sodium ascorbate are both forms of vitamin C which will neutralize chlorine. Neither is considered a hazardous substance, according to the USDA. However, as vitamin C is highly acidic, it is a wise idea not to use it in its pure form, to avoid further irritating skin or hair. There are many products available on the market that offer a concentrated solution of vitamin C at a pH that is gentle on hair and skin. There are also dechlorinating lotions that you can make at home with natural products including various forms of vitamin C. Another option is to simply add vitamin C to your sunblock to get the benefits of sun protection and chlorine reduction at the same time.
Vitamin C can also be used to neutralize chlorine in hot tubs. Abscorbic acid or sodium ascorbate can be purchased directly from stores. You will need to know the chlorine content in your hot tub. Then you can use 2.5 parts ascorbic acid or 2.8 parts sodium ascorbate for every 1 part chlorine in your hot tub. These products will need to be added daily as both forms will degrade in 1 to 2 days. An easier solution may be the addition of a vitamin C tablet which will reduce chlorine and eliminate dry itchy skin while meeting the dechlorination requirements of the US EPA’s Clean Water Act.
Some are also concerned about the natural levels of chlorine that come out in bath water. Although many argue on whether the levels of chlorine in municipal water is harmful, and about the effectiveness of the product, they are popular items. According to Bloomberg Reports, each filter cartridge contains 250 grams of 100% pharmaceutical grade vitamin C, good for filtering up to 15,000 gallons of water. Vitamin C tablets are also available to be used for the dechlorination of bath water, laundry, or even fish tanks.
Do you worry about chlorine exposure? How do you avoid it? Have you tried any of these solutions, and, if so, what works best for you? We’d love to hear from you in our comments section.