Does Sunscreen Go Toxic in Swimming Pools?
The dog days of summer are finally here!
These long, sunny days mean we need to protect ourselves from the harmful UV rays of the sun. In fact, we lather on the sunscreen several times a day to help prevent from getting skin cancer.
However, we have found that the use of sunscreen in the pool concerns pool owners. Moreover, today we are taking the opportunity to shed light on the following two questions from our customers:
Can sunscreen go toxic in swimming pools?
Does sunscreen damage my pool?
Both are equally good questions and deserve a thorough answer!
Can sunscreen become toxic in swimming pools?
Many personal care products, including, soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, and sunscreens contain Ultraviolet Filters (UV-fs).
UV-fs help protect our skin and hair from sunlight radiation. However, there is a growing concern that the interaction between these filters and water from swimming pools can potentially create toxic compounds.
This is what happens when you get into a pool with products containing ultraviolet filters:
Outdoor pools use chlorine and other disinfectants to prevent the propagation of potentially harmful microorganisms.
When chlorine encounters organic matter (sweat, urine, skin cells, dirt, and cosmetics), it produces a variety of chlorinated organic compounds known as disinfection by-products (DBPs).
The presence of DBPs, along with dissolved organic matter, nitrates, chloride, and bicarbonates can breakdown UV-fs in the water and potentially create toxic compounds.
Answering the question, “Does Sunscreen Go Toxic in Swimming Pools?” the answer is, “Yes.”
Fortunately, there is a solution to the problem of the toxicity of sunscreen in swimming pools. First of all, it would be best if you never discouraged bathers from using sunscreen while in the pool. Instead, ask them to follow the proper swimming pool protocol:
1. Bathe before going into the water
2. Wait 20-30 minutes after applying sunscreen before entering the pool
3. Schedule more pool cleaning sessions to avoid toxic compounds from accumulating in your pool.
Does Sunscreen Damage My Pool?
The sunscreens we use to protect our skin for the harmful UV-rays are mostly oil-based. As we all know, oil and water don’t mix.
Oily residue from suntan lotions and even our bodies affects the water quality of your pool. The interaction of the oil residue and the chlorine and other disinfectants can create chemical imbalances that can turn the water cloudy and cause skin or eye irritation in swimmers.
If you notice black guck starting to accumulate near your skimmer, filter, and filter hardware, it means your pool has a large amount of oil residue. The black guck is a problem not only because of how nasty it looks and how hard it is to remove, but because it can also damage your filter.
If you do have a problem with oily residue or black gunk around your pool, we offer several possible solutions:
Periodically adding enzymatic treatment solutions can help remove sunscreen runoff and other oil buildups.
Algaecide surfactant will help clump the oils which we will then skim manually.
Filters need regular cleaning, and if you have a cartridge in your filtering system, it needs to be replaced from time to time.
Oils can accumulate on the tile backsplash, and the best way to remove it is by manually cleaning it with a soft, abrasive pad.
When there is excessive oil buildup in your pool, it needs to be shocked to have it properly cleaned.
Summers can be harsh in Southeast Texas, so you should never forego the use of sunscreens, which can prevent skin cancer.
However, without proper pool maintenance, sunscreen runoff can become a health risk for your family and your pool.
Don’t let a sunburn or a nasty pool ruin your summer, call us for a free consultation and let us take care of any oily buildup in your pool.
If you have any doubts on what to do about making your pool safer, cleaner and beautiful, make sure to call Crocodile Pools, we are the experts in keeping your Pool Safe & Clean.
Let us take the Bite Out of Your Pool.
Quality Pool Maintenance Solutions that ARE Affordable!
A lot of homeowners are concerned with the cost of properly maintaining a pool, but they really shouldn’t be. At Crocodile Pools, we can provide you with superb pool cleaning and maintenance services at a reasonable price.
Contact Us to schedule a free evaluation and to set up weekly maintenance so your pool is always safe, beautiful and ready for your family and friends to enjoy!
Join our many other happy customers that now enjoy a beautiful safe, clean pool year-round. Best of all, we’ll save you money!
Crocodile Pools provides Southeast Texas with the highest quality pool maintenance services at the best prices.