Dangers Associated with Pool Chemicals

By Gretchen Bolander

Published 06/05 2014 05:23PM

Updated 06/05 2014 11:34PM

Whether it's treating algae or ensuring your pool is clean, there are some strong chemicals involved in pool maintenance. But using them the wrong way can cause serious injuries. A look at the potential damage and how to avoid it.

 "We see more often the respiratory type injuries." Freeman Physician Dr. Frank Veer says that can come from just a single chemical. "Or if you improperly mix some of them, they can give you things like chlorine gas, chloride gas - that sort of thing that can be irritants to your lungs. In sufficient quantities, breathing in long enough, they can cause real damage to your lungs."

Pool chemicals can also cause contact injuries. Said Dr. Veer, "Some of them can cause irritation to your skin, some can cause burns." Prevention starts with proper storage. "So you want to store them in a dry, cool place and in a secure place that kids can't get into."

When it's time to use those chemicals, make sure you're taking proper safety precautions. Dr. Veer explained, "If you've got goggles, you should be wearing those. Wear some sort of rubber or latex gloves and even a mask if you've got it." He said it's important not to mix chemicals before adding them to the water - and not to use those that aren't properly marked.

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