Cooling off in the swimming pool is one of the great joys of summer. A well-maintained pool provides a healthy venue for exercise and fun for the entire family. Yet, each summer we hear news reports of illness and injury from the misuse of pool chemicals. According to a report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there was an average of about 4,000 cases of pool chemical-related illnesses or injuries per year in the period 2002 – 2008. Most of these were associated with backyard swimming pools.
In an attempt to help reduce pool chemical-related incidents, the American Chemistry Council and The Chlorine Institute collaborated recently to produce a new video featuring guidelines and recommended practices on the safe storage and use of pool chemicals. The video, available on You Tube, includes safety messages based on information from the CDC.
Causes of Swimming Pool Chemical Illness and Injury
CDC notes the most common causes of swimming pool chemical-related illness and injury are:
- Mixing incompatible chemicals
- Splashes of pool chemicals
- Failure to use personal protection equipment when working with pool chemicals
- Lack of proper training and supervision
- Dust clouds or fumes generated by opening a pool chemical container
The video, which addresses these important issues and more, may be viewed in its entirety (about 13 minutes) at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmaOEMnsxk4&feature=youtu.be, or in shorter sections by topic:
- Intro to Pool Chemical Safety, includes an introduction to pool chemicals and to the topic areas covered by the video (2 minutes, 9 seconds).
- Properties and Safe Storage of Pool Chemicals, including reminders to: read and follow manufacturers’ directions and safety data sheets; never mix pool chemicals; always separate incompatible chemicals for storage and never store liquid chemicals above dry chemicals to avoid mixing upon accidental spilling (5 minutes, 13 seconds).
- Pool Chemical Handling, including information on: the appropriate use of personal protection equipment, such as safety gloves and goggles; avoiding cross-contaminating chemicals and if pre-dissolving is needed, adding chemical to water, but never adding water to chemical, as a violent reaction could occur (2 minutes, 7 seconds).
- Pool Chemical Accident Prevention, including guidance on: the importance of immediately responding to an accident; flushing eyes and skin with water in the event of contact with pool chemicals and calling 911 or the Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) in the event of a pool chemical accident (2 minutes, 4 seconds).
Please share this video with pool owners and operators to help reduce pool chemical accidents!