Chloramines are the result of insufficient free chlorine and usually result in a strong chlorine odor in and around the swimming pool. Chloramines are formed as a product of nitrogen and active chlorine (hypochlorous acid — HOCl). The nitrogen is most commonly introduced into the pool water as ammonia in the form of sweat and (unfortunately) urine.
Chloramines (combined chlorine) are poor sanitizers and have a gaseous tendency. The presence of chloramines (and dichloramines/ trichloramines in particular) cause the following physical symptoms:
- red, burning eyes
- burning sensation in nose, throat and lungs
- dry, itchy skin and dry hair
- breathing difficulty leading to “swimmers’ asthma”, particularly in young children
In addition to these, the pool has a tendency to discolor, becoming milky or green with algae due to the low sanitizing ability of the combined chlorine.