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Author Topic: Strong allergic reaction to Bromine. How to do a 'Chlorine' bathtub test?  (Read 4202 times)

Davekro

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Before we go through the hassle of draining the tub and restarting with Chlorine as the sanitizer instead of Bromine, to see if Chlorine causes my wife no skin rashes, we want to fill the bathtub with hot water and simulate the chlorine water conditions that would be the same as if we convert the hot tub to chlorine.

So here are our questions:
1) Is it common for some people to have a Bromine allergy, but NOT a Chlorine allergy? What are the odds of this?

2)How do I create a bathtub chlorine environment to match a hot tub's?
a) Would I need to reduce our tap water's 370 ppm TA (Total Alkalinity) down below 70 ppm (our hot tub's current TA is 40 ppm), then get the PH adjusted between 7.4- 7.7 before adding Chlorine to make the test valid as close as possible to apples to apples to the actual hot tub?
b) How much of 7.5% chlorine to initially add to say ≈ 30 gallons of bath water to get an in-range chlorine level?
c) I only have a Taylor K-2106 'Bromine' test kit. Is there a workaround test that will tell me the effective Chlorine level I need to measure? If I can't do that with my K-2106 kit/reagents, what reagents would I need to buy to perform a proper Chlorine level test for our experimental bathtub test?

3) Are people with similar Bromine allergy/sensitivity able to completely avoid allergic reactions of rashes and bumps by simply taking Antihistamines like: 25mg Benadryl or 10mg Cetirizine HCI (Zyrtec or Amazon Generic), 10 mg Loratadine (Claritin or Amazon Generic)? If so, what doses and how long before and after?

The Background:
We purchased a brand-new Bullfrog A6L (310 gals) Hot tub with the only time it was filled was at OEM water test at the time of manufacture, three months prior. The tub was purged, water balanced, Bromine Reserve added, Chlorine Shock done, PH & Bromine levels have been kept in range. I swap in a dry, cleaned filter once per week. The Bromine (always between 3-6 ppm) causes my wife extreme rash and bumps, but I have no skin reactions at all. Our initial soak (103º F, PH 7.6, Ttl Bromine 6ppm, TA 30 ppm) caused her an extreme allergic reaction where she had a rash and bumps on her trunk, arms and legs. I am using a Taylor K-2106 'Complete (FAS-DPD bromine)' test kit.

She said the pain and itching for a week was worse than her prior bout of Covid. It kept her awake all night. A week and a half later we let the Total Bromine drop to zero, PH ≈7.6, TA 40ppm. The water temp was only at 93º F. The allergic reaction was nowhere near as strong, but she still felt it coming on 1-2 hours after her soak. She took one Zyrtec 10mg Cetirizine HCI Antihistamine at that time and for two days following and the rash dissipated. I have had no allergic reactions at all.

Installation, thorough Purge and refill process:
Three weeks ago, after the brand new hot tub was installed, I filled it (310 gals) and did a purge using AHH!some. Ran jets on high w/ air for 30 mins. wiped away the green sludge from the shell above the water line and scooped a few small patches from the water. I then removed the four Bullfrog JetPaks and cleaned the green from them that was at the waterline. As an extra precaution, I then ran the jets on high for a second 30 minute period. There was only a small amount of green residue to wipe away this time. I then sprayed ≈ 50 gallons of water into the tub via each jet to rinse any lingering residue of green biofilm and AHH!some purge. I siphoned out then used a shop vac to completely drain the foot well as well as vacuuming each JetPak supply pipe and all the lowest fixed jets.  I am pretty sure we can rule out ‘hot tub folliculitis’.


Thank you, Dave

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CanadianSpaTech

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Have you been using non chlorine spa shock regularly? Sound like she has folliculitis (hot tub rash) due to improper chemical regime. 

Malcom Turn

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It's tough dealing with allergies, especially when they mess with your relaxation time. To test out if chlorine is a better fit for your wife's skin, you'll want to mimic your hot tub's chlorine levels in a regular bathtub. Lower your tap water's Total Alkalinity (TA) and adjust the pH to match your hot tub's levels.

Then, add 7.5% chlorine to the bathwater. As for antihistamines, they can help manage allergic reactions, but it's best to consult a healthcare professional for the right dosage and timing. Wishing you both happy and rash-free soaking!

Davekro

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I drained, refilled and changed over to chlorine sanitization from bromine about 6 weeks ago and all is great. No more skin sensitivity for my wife at all.  :D

cranbiz

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Good to hear.

Steve

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Bromine is 40% chlorine in most instances and often skin irritations are moreso due to pH than the sanitizer. Could also be a heat rash? When it comes to skin issues, I always recommend a doctor over us spa pros!   ;)

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