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Bromine is chemically very similar to chlorine and is used as an alternative in pools and spas. Bromine compounds tend to react more slowly than chlorine compounds so bromine is generally more stable and less subject dissipation in ultra-violet sunrays. The dissociation of hypobromous acid into the bromine ion is less affected by pH than the corresponding reaction of chlorine. Bromine is more active over a larger range of pH than chlorine. Bromamines are formed when bromine combines with ammonia to similar to chlorine but unlike chloramines, bromamines are effective bactericides and produce have a lower degree of odor and produce less eye irritation than that associated with chloramines. Because of the hot water used in hot tubs and spas, bromine is less affected by high temperature and nitrogen wastes than chlorine so it is particularly attractive for use in those applications. Because of the cost of bromine in comparison to chlorine it has not yet received widespread acceptance by swimming pool operators.

The form of bromine most commonly used in pools and spas is the organic chemical bromo-chloro-dimethylhydantoin which contains both bromine and chlorine. It is marketed under various trade names and is generally in tablet form for use in floating erosion feeders.