LC046 -- Rash on the legs, musty smell in the water and severe shortness of breath. What is the cause?

Our whirlpool is 10 years old and was cleaned with active oxygen and chlorine until recently. Since my husband got a rash on his legs as a result of the chlorine, we now use Lotus Clean. At first there were no problems, but after a few months my husband had a skin rash again and complained of shortness of breath. In addition, the water had a musty smell, so we changed the water. But despite this measure, my husband again had a severe reaction with rashes and severe shortness of breath. What could be the cause of this?

The whirlpool was cleaned with active oxygen and chlorine for a long time. Active oxygen is a very weak oxidising agent. That is why it has a very low prevalence in whirlpools. Chlorine is a strong oxidising agent. But it is not strong enough to oxidise all dirt. And it forms chloramines.

It is often recommended to combine these two oxidation methods. What happens then? If there is still chlorine in the water and you add active oxygen, there is a very strong reaction in which a lot of oxidising substances are released in a short time. This helps to build up chloramines. In this respect, you can perform Shock oxidation with active oxygen. However, there are two disadvantages. Hydrochloric acid is released during the chemical reaction. The vapours are very harmful to the lungs. Please do not inhale under any circumstances. Both substances, active oxygen and chlorine, neutralise each other, which leads to a disinfection gap. If there are biofilms in the pipes (which is actually always the case) from which bacteria are released, then the bacteria multiply all the more quickly after treatment with active oxygen and chlorine. This in turn leads to more biofilm.

Chlorine and chloramines destroy skin cells. If you have biofilms in the pipes, you have to add a lot of chlorine to the water. When the chlorine tries to oxidise the biofilm, it is used up and a lot of chloramine is produced quickly. Chloramines are also harmful to skin.

In the meantime, the water care was changed to Lotus Clean and there were no problems for a few months. Then severe reactions occurred with skin rash on the upper part of the body and shortness of breath. In addition, the water had a musty smell. This is a typical process that can occur when a whirlpool with biofilms is converted to Lotus Clean.

What happens during the changeover? Lotus Clean Basic is added to the water. Basic encapsulates all the dirt. This means that the bacteria no longer have any nourishment and stop their cell division. The encapsulated dirt particles remain in the filters and are removed mechanically by the filter cleaning. But what happens if the dirt gets stuck in the pipes as a biofilm? Then Lotus Clean Basic covers the biofilm and encapsulates it from the water. This is the reason why (in problem whirlpools with biofilm) very often the water is clear, clean and ok after using Lotus Clean.

As Lotus Clean is a two-component system, Lotus Clean Shock is also used as the second component. Lotus Clean Shock forms a water-soluble oxidising gas in the water. This gas can penetrate the encapsulation layer of Lotus Clean Basic. It also penetrates the biofilm. In the biofilm it starts to kill the bacteria. Since the killed bacteria can no longer repair the biofilm, it slowly dissolves and releases its contents.

A biofilm is a substance made of polysaccharides formed by bacteria. A biofilm can be thought of more as an organism that acts on its own. In biofilm, bacteria change their DNA and can act in a much more specialised way. The biofilm is able to filter dirt out of the water. This can be skin flakes, fats/oils and cosmetics. In addition, it absorbs the chloramines that have formed through oxidation with the chlorine. They are stored and can be used as food by the bacteria. When this biofilm breaks apart and detaches, these absorbed substances are released again. Also the chloramines. Chloramines are known to cause skin rashes and respiratory distress and irritation. The musty smell also indicates that the dirt from the biofilm has accumulated in the water.

The amount of Lotus Clean Shock according to our water care instructions is of course not designed for this scenario. The amount of Shock would therefore have to be drastically increased in order to completely oxidise all this dirt. In this case, I would advise an intensive basic cleaning. This is a very good way to trigger the biofilm. And after the intensive basic cleaning, the whirlpool should be operated for another two to three months with an intensive Shock treatment in order to also remove the remaining deposits from the pipes.

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