Analisis of Human Exposure to Chloroform in a Hot Tub

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Abstract Hot tubs are very popular across America due to their relaxation as well as health benefits. Hot tubs have been attributed health benefits ranging from relief of muscle and joint pain, to help in treatment of HIV and other viral infections. Because of this, many people own hot tubs and many more go to health spas where they can use them. On the other hand, hot tubs are not that easy to maintain. A consistent disinfectant level must be maintained in order to inhibit the growth of bacteria which could cause infections to the people who use them. The disinfectant of choice for most hot tubs is chlorine, mainly because of its effectiveness, persistence in the water, and the familiarity with its properties. Since the 70’s,…show more content…
The problem with chlorine is that it reacts with organic matter in water to form chloroform, a known carcinogen. The efficiency of chlorines disinfection capabilities depends on the free chlorine in the water. Free chlorine refers to the amount of chlorine in the water after the demand for chlorine in the water has been satisfied. In other words, the free chlorine is the one that’s available to disinfect or kill microorganisms. Since the free chlorine in hot tub water is recommended to be around 3-5 ppm, this means that there will be a higher concentration of chloroform in the tub water than in for example tap water that has free chlorine level of only 1-2ppm when leaving the treatment plant. In addition the high temperature of the water combined with the aeration by the jet bubbles will enhance the 2 volatilization of the chloroform into the air and this increases the exposure due to inhalation. The high temperature of water will also increase dermal absorption of chloroform. Of special interest, are wooden hot tubs. In this case, there is a constant source of organic matter(wood) for the chlorine to react with, and therefore increased concentrations of chloroform. This study will try to prove the hypothesis that using hot tubs, results in elevated exposures to chloroform due to various factors that enhance

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