Dr. David Brownstein,  editor of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter, is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. His books include Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!; Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It; Salt Your Way To Health; The Miracle of Natural Hormones; Overcoming Arthritis, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders; The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet; and The Guide to Healthy Eating. He is the medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Mich., where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their teenage daughters, Hailey and Jessica.

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Does Bromine in Swimming Pools Carry Health Risks?

Wednesday, 28 Oct 2009 04:44 PM

Question: Bromine is now frequently used in place of chlorine in swimming pools. Does swimming pool exposure carry the same risk as dietary bromine?


Dr. Brownstein's Answer:

That is a good question. Unfortunately, I do not have a concrete answer, but I will do my best. There are no studies that show that swimming in a brominated pool carries the same risk as ingesting bromine. However there is no known therapeutic value of bromine. In fact, bromine exposure has been shown to competitively inhibit iodine in the body. In other words, if you are exposed to excess bromine, iodine will be eliminated from the body and replaced by bromine.

Bromine is a known goitrogen and has no known role in human health. And bromine can be absorbed through the skin. So swimming in a brominated pool undoubtedly would cause bromine levels to rise in the body. The easiest way to protect yourself from bromine in pools is to ensure that you have adequate iodine intake. If you have adequate iodine intake, exposure to bromine will not result in a problem.

I have had many patients react negatively to brominated swimming pool water. When I have them increase their iodine intake, however, these negative reactions often clear up. So, if you are going to be exposed to bromine, I suggest ensuring that your iodine intake is high enough to overcome this exposure. Following your iodine levels with simple urinary tests can show if you are moving in the right direction.

© HealthDay

 
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