Children who take regular swimming lessons in baths that use chlorinated water could be increasing their chances of getting cancer.

Spanish scientists have claimed exposure to chlorinated water could cause cancer - and those who regularly drink bottled water, take lots of showers - or go swimming regularly - could be putting themselves at risk.

Scientists discovered carcinogenic chemicals called trihalomethanes (THMs), which are created as a by-product of chlorinating water, can be absorbed through the skin.

Although the risk of developing bladder cancer as a result was small, Dr Gemma Castaño-Vinyals, of the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology [CREAL] in Castilla La Mancha, said:

"People with more money and more education may think that they're reducing their risk of exposure to water contaminants by drinking bottled water.

"However, despite being apparently cleaner and taking more exercise, as a result of taking more frequent and longer baths, and using swimming pools more often, they are actually increasing their risk of THM exposure."

Other research has indicated that repeated exposure to some chlorine by-products in indoor pools can also increase a child's risk of asthma.

Posted by Robert Mair on 17.3.11 Comment on this article by sending it to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com