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Disciplines

Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Exercise Physiology | Exercise Science | Health and Physical Education | Kinesiology | Leisure Studies | Neoplasms | Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene | Other Chemicals and Drugs | Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion | Sports Management | Sports Sciences

Abstract

After three members of a Masters adult swim club died of lung cancer, both a literature review and survey were conducted with representatives from 746 United States Masters Swimming clubs to explore a possible relationship between swimming and cancers of the respiratory tract. Six other clubs reported known cancers of the respiratory tract among club members, but none of the other 740 clubs reported a similar cluster of lung cancer. More clubs reported cases of chronic respiratory infections and widespread complaints about air quality. While no studies exploring a relationship between swimming and lung cancer could be found in the literature, there were studies that demonstrated damage to the lungs and mutated bladder cells post-swim from the presence of Disinfectant By-Products (DBPs). Few guidelines exist for safe levels of DBPs in the indoor pool environment. Authors urge more guidance regarding the enforcement of pool policies that protect respiratory health.

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