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Anyone have any tips on how to extract bromine from the wood of my cedar tub?

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Turns out I'm allergic to some aspect of my new cedar tub. Since it will take several months, possibly over a year to see an immunologist and determine the exact allergen, (statistically most likely to be bromine from what I have found online) we are changing from bromine to chlorine, (knowing it could eat away at the wood. If it's the correct allergen, can get a liner at that point).

What I would like to know is if anyone has any educated suggestions on the best way to extract any bromine that has leached into the wood. As of now, I have drained the tub, spent at least an hour spraying the walls and floor with a hose, and refilled. We will leave it to sit for a few days with no chemicals, though the ionizer is turned on. Then I will do that same again, at least once, maybe more. 

For some background, while experimenting earlier to try to figure out the source of the allergy, we did empty, refill and use the next day with no chemicals once heated to see if I would react to that and I did. (I get full body rash. No one else who has used the tub has ever gotten a rash other other adverse reaction).

Could be an allergy to cedar though, or something else, who knows, but gotta try something cause that thing is awesome!


tub summer 2019.JPG

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I'm a research chemist.

Most likely any bromine in the wood has long been reduced to bromide, which is readily water soluble.  To make sure that the bromine has been oxidized, you could empty and try spraying with sodium thiosulfate solution first; that's commonly sold as "chlorine neutralizer" at pool stores.

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  • 1 year later...

This is an old post, but I was hoping for an update on your allergic reaction to your hot tub.  We just recently bought a Northern Lights cedar hot tub and I'm finding that I'm allergic to something to do with it.  I get red splotches mostly on my arms and face.  I can't stay out of the tub, because it's beautiful and wonderful!  I've got a referral to a allergy specialist, in order to get to the bottom of this.  I'm hoping it's more related to the stain on the outside, the tannins from the fresh wood being released, and NOT the cedar.   I don't think the bromine is what's affecting me because I broke out pretty badly after assembling the tub and staining the various pieces.

Thanks very much in advance for any update, findings, etc.

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The fact that you broke out in a rash while assembling and staining it suggests it is related to the stain. I have never had a wood spa myself, but I have seen a few over the years. None of them were stained from what I could tell, but I can't be 100% on that. I can't imagine it being the cedar, as alot of things are made from cedar, and I would think it would have come up before if you had some cedar allergy.

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28 minutes ago, CanadianSpaTech said:

Don't use the spa for a few days and then carry around an unstained 2 x 4 of cedar for a few days and then stain it and carry it around for a few more days and see if you breakout 😄

Pure genius !   Or soak a piece of cedar in the bathtub/hot water and take a bath to see what happens.

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