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Dirty Pools a Health Hazard
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The water quality in public swimming pools may be a health hazard, according to a report by the Guangdong health authority.

The report, which was issued after a recent province-wide inspection of public swimming pools, said water in about a third of the province's pools was unsanitary.

"The water in some pools, particularly those in residential areas, has been found to contain too much chlorine residue, which could pose a threat to human eyes and noses," said Huang Fei, deputy director of the provincial health department.

No more than 69 percent of the 481 pools targeted by the inspection were up to standard in terms of chlorine use.

According to the national regulation on public swimming pools, the acceptable standard for free residue chlorine is about 0.2-0.6 mg per liter.

"Because of the hot weather, an increasing number of people are thronging into pools. This might be one reason for the overuse of chlorine," Huang said.

In Dongguan, the water in only about 10 percent of swimming pools is up to standard, according to the report.

"We will also introduce a grading system for swimming pools in the near future. If they fail to meet the lowest water quality standard, the pools will be forced to stop business," Huang said.

Swimmers have contributed to the unsanitary conditions in pools because of their poor health, according to Huang.

"I have never been asked to show a health certificate at a swimming pool. I need only to buy a ticket before I go into the pool," said Deng Yilian, a local resident in Guangzhou, capital of the province.

(China Daily July 17, 2007)

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