Chlorine, Bromine and Other Swimming Pool Sanitation Options, Part 2

In part one of this multi-part blog series, we went over some of the basic differences between chlorine, bromine and other pool sanitation products that are commonly used. These products are vital for treating the pool’s water and keeping it safe and healthy to swim in, ensuring no buildups of mold, harmful chemicals or any other contaminants occur.

At Packman’s Pools, our custom pool contractors are here to help with any and all treatment questions related to your custom pool construction. In today’s part two and eventually part three of this series, we’ll go over a few of the major areas pool owners and users think about when it comes to their chemical sanitation options and how they affect you, plus which choice is right for your pool based on these factors.

chlorine bromine swimming pool sanitation

Skin Interaction

Chlorine and bromine are both known as halogens, belonging to the same chemical family. They both perform many of the same tasks in your pool, including disinfecting, oxidizing and removing algae risks. At the same time, there are several differences between them.

One such area is regarding how each chemical tends to affect the skin. Both may lead to rashes or irritation in susceptible individuals, but generally speaking, bromine is known to be a bit better for the skin – though it can also lead to Bromine Itch. In both cases, maintaining proper chemical levels is vital for preventing skin irritation or resulting reactions.

Eye Irritation Risks

Bromine is also known to be lighter on the eyes, though this will vary based on the individual in question. It will also depend on how well the pool is maintained – unless you have a specific chemical allergy to chlorine or bromine, it’s unlikely you will experience any eye irritation as long as the chemical levels are kept properly and the pool is in good shape.

Indoor vs. Outdoor

If you have both indoor and outdoor pool options to think about, chlorine is usually the way to go – it functions perfectly well in both situations. Bromine, on the other hand, is sensitive to sunlight and therefore less effective for outdoor pools. To be specific, up to half of a pool’s bromine content can be destroyed in just an hour or two by direct sunlight exposure.


When it comes to odor, chlorine is known as the stronger substance here. Some people find chlorine unpleasant as a smell, in which case you should look at bromine as long as it meets your other needs. If chlorine doesn’t bother you or other swimmers in the home, you can generally move past this concern.

For more on chlorine and bromine as pool sanitation options, or to learn about any of our new swimming pool or spa options, speak to the staff at Packman’s Pools today.