Can Hot Tubs Cause Health Problems?

Hot Tubs are often considered a cure all. They help people relax after a long, hard day and there have been studies into its effectiveness to ease symptoms of diabetes and MS. There are, however, several horror stories of people getting ill from using hot tubs. The three biggest culprits are bacteria, chlorine and water that's too hot.


There are several recorded incidents of people contracting bacterial illnesses after using a hot tub. Usually, these are public tubs or private tubs found in hotel rooms and spas. This is not to say that the owners of the tubs do not thoroughly clean them. They usually do. Sometimes the bacteria can hide in the motor and is released into the water after the tub is cleaned. The hot water does not kill the germs because many strains thrive in heat. One of the most commonly contracted illnesses is Legionnairers’ disease. This is a very virulent form of pneumonia. It will hide out in the motor. Those affected by it have usually breathed it in. As the tub bubbles your tension away, the bacteria is released into the air when as the bubbles pop and release steam.


Chlorine is a poison that affects the respiratory organs, and in large quantities it can cause death. It is used in a diluted, liquid form in pools to kill unwanted germs. Without chlorine, pools would be very dangerous places, espeically social, communal places like hot tubs.

However, a recent European study shows that continued exposure to chlorine greatly increases respiratory problems, especially in children. The more a person is exposed to chlorine, the more likely they are to develop asthma or respiratory allergies, like hay fever.


Of all potential problems, this is the most preventable. Turn the temperature on the hot tub down. If you are with young children, the water needs to be cooler than you may normally enjoy it. Their skin is more sensitive and will burn more easily.

Despite all the problems a hot tub may cause, it can still be useful. It can help relieve symptoms of chronic illnesses, or to relieve stress. More and more studies show that stress has an adverse affect on the human body and mind. Every opportunity to relieve stress is an opportunity to thrive. If you have a chronic illness, speak to your doctor before you use a hot tub as treatment. Depending on the illness, it may be unsafe for you to do so.