It is widely acknowledged that swimmers are among the most fit athletes across the entire spectrum of sports. In fact, capability in swimming is often a prerequisite for participation in other especially exerting sports. Yet, swimmers all too often experience the dreaded “chlorine cough” and the accompanying irritated, itchy red eyes and skin that signal an excessive chlorine load on the body when competing at indoor aquatics facilities. It is a sad reality that bronchial inhalers are one of the most often disposed of items at such centers.
How is it that the world’s most fit athletes struggle with such severe symptoms? And is this common situation significantly hampering athletic performance? How many lost competitions and second place finishes that could have been first place championships are not due to a subpar athletic performance or flawed training, but a natural biologic process designed to protect the body from ingestion of airborne pollutants?
Several studies reveal that the cleaner the air is inside of aquatics centers, the more optimal the performance of the athletes competing there. When the body takes in contaminated air — and ALL untreated indoor air is inherently polluted with toxins such as viruses, bacteria, dust, mold spores, gases and other illness-inducing agents — the lungs and the liver go to work to filter out these contaminants. But, just like any biologic process, energy and oxygen are expended to help the body purify the air that has been breathed in, reducing the energy and oxygen reserve available for athletic performance.
In December 2016, a popular swimming journal published an article addressing the distressing issue of the air quality of indoor aquatics facilities. Here is a quote from the article: “Violent coughing, burning eyes, and dry and blotchy skin afflict almost any swimmer who has ever swum in an indoor pool. Yet although air quality in indoor pools affects nearly all swimmers at some point in their careers, little effort has been made to seriously address the problem.”
But now, aquatics facilities directors and swimming coaches across the U.S., including New York University, Emory University, Princeton High School, Hagerstown YMCA and others have turned to BioOx® to provide a permanent CLEAN AIR ZONE in their swimming facilities – a clean air zone that will enable their athletes and leisure swimmers alike to avoid respiratory distress and ocular irritation, empowering them to deliver their best swim performance every single day.
Both controlled studies and observational studies suggest air pollution adversely affects athletic performance during both training and competition. The air pollution dosage during exercise is much higher than during rest because of a higher ventilatory rate and both nasal and oral breathing when exercising. Recently, several controlled human studies have shown that the combination of exercise and pollutant exposure caused marked bronchoconstriction and reduced ventilatory flow when compared with pollution exposure at rest. Thus, air pollution can be an important factor affecting performance (Science Direct, 1986).
Pool water is cleaned with chlorine, which — in combination with compounds contained in the water — could form chloramines and trichloromethane in the swimmer’s lungs. Swimmers are a specific group of athletes in whom the incidence of rhinitis, asthma, and airway hyperresponsiveness is greater compared to other groups of athletes. In a recent Polish study comparing competitive swimmers to other athletes, it was noted that 79% of swimmers training 27–37 hours a week reported symptoms of the upper and lower respiratory tract. In another study, swimming-induced lower airway respiratory symptoms were present in 57% of Finnish National Team swimmers. The most frequently reported symptoms were cough and asthma-like symptoms such as breathlessness, wheezing and chest tightness. Moreover, 50-65% of competitive swimmers were sensitized to various allergens, as documented by allergy skin-prick tests. The constant exposure of the human body to the harmful effects of chlorine byproducts in indoor pools can potentially cause damage to the mucosa of the airways and thus, increase nasal and lung permeability, contributing to various types of inflammation and a dangerous remodeling of the airways of highly skilled swimmers. These changes in the upper and lower airway respiratory symptoms certainly might have a deleterious effect on swimmers’ performance (BioMed Central, April 2020)
Why swim coaches and aquatics facilities directors are choosing BioOx®
BioOx®, a 100 percent natural solution, scientifically proven to fully destroy viruses and other airborne pollutants, is the only air purification technology that prevents irritation from airborne pollutants, avoiding undue stress on swimmers’ bodies and helping athletes deliver an optimal performance.
While extremely popular, standard air filtration systems — even those created with HEPA technology — do not eradicate chlorine gases, fumes and byproducts that cause lung, eye and skin irritation for swim athletes.
Standard — and often extremely expensive — air filtration systems do not effectively break down and destroy the smallest of airborne particulates (those that cause chlorine fumes and exposure irritation) as only BioOx® does. BioOx® effectively, efficiently, and relatively inexpensively, destroys the smallest of micro-particulates down to those measuring 0.1 microns. HEPA technology can only capture microns as small as 0.3 and has no ability to destroy pollutants since HEPA technology cannot SCRUB the air as only BioOx® does. When toxic particulates hover in and circulate throughout the air in a confined space, not only do we breathe them in and compromise our lungs, but micro-contaminants most readily transmit through our eyes, not our lungs, creating an especially significant challenge in safeguarding our overall health — a principal reason why swimmers experience chronic eye irritation during training and competition.
The BioOx® reactor DESTROYS the smallest of micro-particulates utilizing a natural enzyme mixed with water — the proprietary BioOx® media. BioOx® reactors are fairly small units that emit a natural enzyme to SCRUB the air, creating a CLEAN AIR ZONE in your pool area or any other part of your facility, such as locker rooms, offices, cafeterias, etc. Best of all, BioOx® technology, while extremely powerful in performance, is simple and compact, without an arduous “installation” required: the quiet units simply plug into electrical outlets. No drilling, construction, rewiring or filter maintenance of any kind necessary. Every facility is already BioOx®-ready!!
Our Satisfied BioOx® Swim Clients
BioOx® creates a dramatically healthier swimming environment for athletes and leisure swimmers alike, as well as a more enjoyable place for swim event spectators, who often experience the same eye irritation and respiratory distress as the swimmers. Further, BioOx® fully eradicates airborne odors of all kinds – no more overwhelming chlorine odor in your aquatics facility!! The only smell BioOx® leaves behind is the scent of pure, clean air!! But you don’t have to take our word for it. Here’s what the team at YMCA Hagerstown said:
For a demo of the BioOx® technology, contact the BioOx® team at (301) 246-0151 or send us an email through our website at www.bioox.us
Courtesy of BioOx, a SwimSwam partner.