Pool Chemical Safety Recommendations
By utilizing pool chemicals correctly, you can avoid irritation, disease, and other problems.
Swimming pools with crystal clear water are frequently the focus of summer pleasure. And, while we emphasize the need of wearing sunscreen and avoiding drowning during water sports, you probably don’t consider the chemicals used in pools. You may be familiar with the scent of chlorine, but unless you are in charge of pool maintenance, you are unlikely to be investigating how pool chemicals may damage your health.
Pool chemicals such as chlorine and bromine keep germs and bacteria at bay. When utilized appropriately, they aid in the prevention of epidemics and other possible health issues. However, because of current scarcity, many individuals have resorted to combining things that shouldn’t be in pools. Other issues include improperly managing or storing pool chemicals.
Baruch Fertel, MD, an emergency medicine specialist, shares some useful guidelines for regulating pool chemicals so you can stay safe whether you’re cleaning or enjoying the pool.
“It’s a wonderful time of year,” Dr. Fertel adds. “People have opened their pools so that their friends and family may cool off in the heat.” When it comes to pool chemicals and equipment, however, everyone must follow some basic safety rules.”
The significance of pool chemicals
The CDC refers to your pool’s chlorine and pH levels as its “disinfection team.” These two components are the initial line of defense against microorganisms that might cause sickness. While chlorine is quite powerful, it does not work immediately. And when things like dirt, skin cells, sunlight, and even fecal matter get up in a pool, they can diminish chlorine levels.
The pH level of your pool water influences how acidic or basic it is. Chlorine has a tougher time killing microorganisms in water with a high pH. Another thing to remember is that your body’s pH may range between 7.2 and 7.8. If the pH of the pool water is not in this range, your skin and eyes will become irritated. To avoid this happening to you or your visitors, you should check and adjust the chlorine and pH levels on a regular basis.
Other common symptoms of recreational water illness or pool chemical irritation
According to Dr. Fertel, some typical signs of discomfort or disease include:
- Ear ache.
- Trouble breathing.
- Congestion or a cough
Should you be able to detect chlorine odor?
No, you should not be able to detect the odor of chlorine. A well-maintained pool should not have a distinct chemical odor, according to the CDC. When you smell that powerful “chlorine scent,” you’re receiving a whiff of something called “chloramines.” Chloramines are generated when perspiration, urine, dirt, skin cells, and even excrement come into contact with chlorinated water.
How to Avoid Chloramines
You probably don’t want to swim in a public pool again after reading the previous section. However, there are things you may do at home to avoid chloramines.
- Do not swim if you have diarrhea. The same is true for children.
- Before entering the water, always use the toilet and take bathroom breaks as needed.
- Before entering the pool, take a shower. Rinsing off in the shower for a minute can help eliminate the majority of dirt or other debris from your body.
- Put on a swim cap.
- Please do not pee in the water.
Add chemicals to pool water with caution
According to Dr. Fertel, there is a correct and wrong methods to accomplish it. When you think about it, it’s the same as putting detergent in a washing machine.
“When adding chemicals to a pool, always add the powder to the water rather than the powder to the water.” Wetting happens when even a small amount of water gets on some pool chemicals. Chemical wetness can result in a hazardous reaction and flammability. That is why it is critical to add pool chemicals to the water.”
Pool chemicals should be kept in a dry place
Chemicals should never be stored in a moist environment. Dr. Fertel strongly advises maintaining them in a completely dry environment, away from any leaking containers.
“Pool chemicals should be kept in a dry place.” Check the shelves above for any additional chemicals or objects that might potentially rain down on them. The containers containing the chemicals should likewise be properly sealed.”
He goes on to say that chemicals from various years should never be combined together. If you’re pouring the chemicals into specific equipment or container, make sure to fully clean it before the next usage.
In your pool, only use permitted chemicals
If you can’t locate the pool chemicals you need, making your own is never a good idea. Some common pool chemicals, according to the EPA, are incompatible with one another. Mixing these substances may result in a chemical reaction that ignites surrounding flammable items or produces very poisonous and corrosive chlorine gas.
“If you can’t get the pool chemicals you need, don’t rely on ‘homegrown brews’ or ‘homegrown combinations.’ We are aware that many goods are in low supply right now. Pool chemicals are no different. It is critical to utilize pool-safe items that have been tested and approved. It’s not the time to experiment.”
He also emphasizes the need for basic personal protective equipment such as goggles and gloves. Dr. Fertel recommends using a face shield while utilizing pool chemicals for an extended length of time. Also, keep these chemicals in a well-ventilated place.
According to Dr. Fertel, most chemical exposures may be controlled simply by leaving the area. When in doubt, though, seek medical attention. If someone consumes pool chemicals, contact your local poison control center right away.