The Truth about Chlorine in Swimming Pools
Water Quality & Health Council

This summer when you don your bathing suit and walk out onto the pool deck, you may be in for a sensory experience that conjures up happy memories of summers past—warm sunshine, sparkling pool water and the smell of chlorine.  If the chlorine smell is very strong, however, you may soon spot “red-eyed” swimmers emerging from the pool.  That’s when the pool water is assumed to have “too much chlorine” in it.  Ironically, a strong chemical smell around the pool and “swimmer red eye” may be signs that there is not enough chlorine in the water.  Sound confusing?  It’s time to set the record straight about chlorine and swimming pools.

Chlorine helps protect swimmers from waterborne germs

Most swimmers understand that chlorine is added to pools to kill germs that can make swimmers sick.  Chlorine-based pool sanitizers help reduce swimmers’ risk of waterborne illnesses, such as diarrhea, swimmer’s ear, and … READ MORE >>

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That “Chemical Smell” at the Pool Isn’t What You Think It Is

For America’s Most Fun Form of Summer Exercise, Experts Urge Swimmers to Use Senses to Stay Healthy at the Pool

As Americans jump into another fun-filled summer of swimming, a new survey finds that most don’t know the real reason why some pools have a strong chemical smell. A survey conducted on behalf of the Water Quality and Health Council found that three-quarters of Americans incorrectly believe that the chemical odor they smell at pools is a sign that there’s too much chlorine in the water.

Experts at the Water Quality and Health Council, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Swimming Pool Foundation® (NSPF®) said properly treated swimming pools do not have a strong chemical smell. However, when chlorine in pool water combines with pee, poop, sweat, and dirt from swimmers’ bodies, chemical irritants called chloramines1 are produced. These chloramines give off a chemical … READ MORE >>

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The Terms of Germ Inactivation
Water Quality & Health Council

Reducing disease-causing microorganisms—aka “pathogens” or “germs”—on environmental surfaces is a matter of using the right agent for the task at hand.  You would no sooner wash your hands in a bleach solution after gardening than expect surgical instruments to be prepared by washing them in soapy water.

Terms that apply to germ reduction on surfaces—cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting and sterilizing—have distinct definitions, but they are often misused.  To help you navigate these terms, please see the table below:

Vocabulary of Germ Inactivation on Environmental Surfaces1

TERM

PURPOSE

USE

EXAMPLES of AGENTS

NOTES

Cleaning

Removes visible dirt, impurities and pathogens using chemical or physical means.

Cleaning is appropriate when surfaces are visibly dirty.
When a surface is both visibly dirty and contaminated, and requires sanitizing or disinfecting, cleaning is the first step.

Water, detergent, enzymatic products

Cleaning does not remove all pathogens and does not necessarily kill them.  If cleaning tools

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Your Health in their Hands: Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings
Ralph Morris, MD, MPH and Barbara M. Soule, R.N., MPA, CIC, FSHEA

Would you be surprised to learn that healthcare professionals, on average, clean their hands less than half the number of times they should?  That statistic comes from a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) press release announcing a new campaign, “Clean Hands Count.” CDC is “urging healthcare professionals, patients, and patients’ loved ones to prevent healthcare-associated infections by keeping their hands clean.”

In an age of astounding advances in medical technology, it is ironic that one of the simplest methods known to avoid spreading pathogens is overlooked so often.  CDC estimates 722,000 infections are contracted each year in US hospitals, and that 75,000 patients die of these infections during their hospital stay.  Good hand hygiene will help reduce these infections and deaths. READ MORE >>

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Lifecycle of the Zika-transmitting Mosquito
the Water Quality & Health Council


Mosquito borne illnesses have played a significant role the course of human history and continue to have repercussions on human health.
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