Many people are very careful about their pool water because they know how easy it is to become sick from drinking it. However, they don’t seem to care as much about the air that they breathe around it. Is this really a smart move? You might be shocked to learn that having copper in your pool can actually be dangerous. That’s right—the ubiquitous metal can be toxic if it gets into your system.
You might not think much about copper when you’re in the water, but it’s everywhere. The substance is very common, found in many forms and in many places. In addition to being toxic in large quantities, copper can also be dangerous in smaller amounts. It’s incredibly common for copper pipes to become corroded over time, especially if you live in a place with salty water or air. This is why you need to be careful about where you place your pool, and what material its waters are made of.
Why Is It Dangerous?
When exposed to air, copper will slowly oxidize into a thin, brittle film that can be extremely dangerous. This film can act as a catalyst in the formation of free radicals and potentially cause serious damage to your health. Radicals are small molecules that can damage cells and tissue, and overexposure to them can lead to cancer. Some people have even gone so far as to say that copper can be as harmful to the human body as tobacco.
If you’re breathing in the copper fumes when they react with moisture in the air, you will be at an increased risk of developing cancer. The danger is that when copper combines with oxygen, it creates very unstable compounds that are capable of damaging DNA and other crucial cell components. This can lead to serious health issues, even if you’re not directly exposed to the metal.
Where Does It Come From?
Copper is a fairly common material, found in many places around the world. However, the largest deposits can be found in Chile, Peru, and Australia. The substance also deposits rapidly in areas where copper is present in high concentrations, including electronic waste (e-waste) dumps. This is where the majority of copper deposits around the world are located (aside from Australia and some other pockets in North America).
Copper is present in most water supplies and many foods, including seafood. It’s also common to find small quantities in many household items, such as paper and cardboard, paints, plasters, batteries, and some medicines. It’s even present in some toothpaste and detergents! The list of items that contain copper goes on and on, but you get the gist of it. It’s a compound that you’ll probably already have in your home. The best way to avoid it is to keep your pool out of reach of children and animals. They are the most vulnerable to the effects of copper.
How Do You Prevent It?
If you want to keep your pool safe and healthy, you have a couple of options. The first is by installing a water treatment system that removes all traces of copper from the water. There are several excellent brands that perform this task admirably, and you can find a high-quality one that fits your budget. The second option is to build an outdoor pool with no access to the water source. If you have a septic tank, you can use that as the basis for your outdoor pool, as it already contains most of the toxins. You will need to install some filtering equipment to keep the dirt and debris from clogging up the mechanical parts inside the septic tank.
Keep in mind that these are just tips to keep your pool healthy. You should still maintain a good balance of flora and fauna in your water, as well as keep children and animals away from it. Animals especially are vulnerable to toxins, as they are often unable to properly eliminate them from their bodies. If you want to be extra careful, you can also add activated charcoal to the water to give it a brown color and improve its flavor.
Monitoring And Testing Your Pool Water
If you’re trying to keep your pool safe and you’re not sure whether or not it’s contaminated, you’ll need to test it regularly. This can be a hassle, as it means either getting a water sample or having to go to a testing lab, but it’s worth it. You don’t want to take any chances with your health or that of your family.
Monitoring the pH level and the amount of nitrates, nitrites, and orthophosphates in your pool water is also important, as these are all ingredients found in nitrates, nitrites, and orthophosphates (NO3 – NO2 – PO4), or NOPs. The nitrates and nitrites will combine with the sunlight to form dangerous compounds that can lead to cell damage and even cancer. A healthy pH level and a low intake of NOPS are excellent for maintaining the quality of your pool water and keeping your family healthy.
Should You Be Worried?
The worst thing you can do for yourself and your family is to be overly worried about something that probably isn’t even harmful. Everyone reacts differently to toxins, and copper is no different. You are extremely likely to be harmed by it if you consume large quantities over a long period of time. Ingesting copper can cause gastrointestinal issues and even liver toxicity. If you’re going to be near or around your pool for a long period of time, you can also be exposed to these toxins. Wearing protective gear while near the water can also help reduce your risk of irritation.
From what we’ve discussed so far, it’s not exactly clear why you’d want to keep copper around your pool. It can be somewhat dangerous, so you’ll need to weigh the costs and the benefits. Is it just for decoration? Is it for social reasons? There are pros and cons to having a pool in your backyard, so you need to make sure you consider all of them before committing.