Smells like Chlorine?
Stephan A. Hubbs, PE

They say “the nose knows,” but I say the nose can be confused. Chlorine odors are a good example. Several different chlorine odors can arise from various chlorine-based substances and in different circumstances. They are not all simply due to “chlorine.” A prime example is the irritating smell commonly attributed to chlorine around some poorly managed swimming pools. That smell is from a couple of chemical compounds in the chloramine family. Some chloramines form when chlorine disinfectants react chemically with nitrogen-based substances from the bodies of swimmers, including urine. The poolside pronouncement of “too much chlorine in the pool” may be more aptly described as “too much peeing in the pool.” Ironically, the odor could signal that more chlorine is needed in the pool.

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The Secret Life of Bleach
Water Quality & Health Council

Chlorine bleach – that household staple usually parked in the laundry – has additional uses besides “whitening your whites.”

During cold and flu season, dilute bleach solutions can be used to wipe down frequently touched surfaces to help prevent the spread of viruses and other pathogens (disease-spreading germs) among family members.

Bleach solutions also destroy bacteria, including Salmonella and E. coli, common foodborne pathogens that may lurk on kitchen work surfaces. Used smartly, bleach solutions pack a powerful punch against germs that can make your family sick.

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Go Swimming This Winter!
Water Quality & Health Council

Looking for a fun way to stay fit this winter? Consider swimming in an indoor pool.  Swimming provides a great workout for the whole body—core (including abdomen), arms, legs, glutes and back, according to WebMD.  It helps increase flexibility and strength without taxing the joints, a welcome advantage for people with arthritis.  And feeling buoyant in the water can be both relaxing and soothing, reducing mental stress.

Indoor Pool Air Quality

One potential deterrent to indoor pool swimming is the strong chemical odor around some indoor pools. We have addressed the phenomenon popularly known as “too much chlorine in the pool” numerous times, but it bears repeating here:  The irritating chemical odor around some pools is not due to chlorine, but to certain substances formed when chlorine disinfectant combines with nitrogen-containing contaminants brought into the pool by swimmers.

To compound matters, inadequate air exchange over the pool contributes to … READ MORE >>

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Happy Holidays: A Year in the Life of the Blue Planet
Water Quality & Health Council

As Perspectives readers gather with family and friends to celebrate the holidays, the Water Quality and Health Council invites you to share a mesmerizing time-lapse view of our home, the Blue Planet, from space.

Hovering in a gravity-neutral zone between Earth and the sun, a million miles over the Blue Planet, the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite recently completed one year of photographing the sun-lit side of Earth and monitoring the weather in deep space.

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A Fun Holiday Hand-washing Activity for Kids
Water Quality & Health Council

As our families and friends gather to celebrate the holidays, we look forward to enjoying good company, delicious food and exchanging gifts.  One aspect of the holidays we don’t enjoy, however, is exchanging the germ du jour.

Many adults are aware that frequent hand-washing—and hand sanitizer use in a pinch–can help avoid the “re-gifted” germs that cause colds, flu, the stomach bug (norovirus) and more.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell us that hand-washing is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others, so how can we help the children in our lives practice proper hand hygiene?

The American Cleaning Institute offers a fun resource for children to “Create a colorful holiday!” with its “Clean Your Paws for Santa Claus Coloring Page.”  The image caption clarifies that handwashing “with soap and warm water for 20 … READ MORE >>

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