Swimming Pool Chemical Safety

Swimming Pool Chemical Safety

From 2008 to 2017, almost 5,000 Americans visited emergency rooms annually due to injuries sustained from pool chemicals. This is only a portion of the estimated total injuries!

The overwhelming majority of these incidents are related to the improper handling or storage of pool chemicals, like chlorine. Following the best practices for pool chemical storage and handling prevents dangerous scenarios and potentially life-threatening injuries.

The Dangers of Pool Chemicals

Pool chemicals’ main danger comes from the side effects that they can have on health. If they are improperly handled, they can cause rashes and other skin irritation. They can also cause eye irritations when improperly mixed into pool water. Lastly, chemicals like chlorine can create gases that cause coughing, chest pains, and even death in rare cases.

Pool Chemical Safety Tips

Chlorine is used in every pool, which is why it is so commonly a cause of injuries and property damage. No pool is completely chlorine-free – yes, even saltwater pools use small amounts of chlorine!

If mixed incorrectly, both chlorine powders and tablets may release chlorine gas. Chlorine gas can cause symptoms such as coughing, eye and nose irritation, lacrimation, and a burning sensation in the chest. In rare occurrences, exposure can lead to death.

To help provide you with the education you need to stay safe, we’ve put together these tips to properly store and handle chemicals.

The Best Way to Store Pool Chemicals

The best storage system for pool chemicals will keep them locked in a cool, dry place with proper ventilation. Unless you’re actively adding chemicals to your pool, they should be stored safely and securely. Here’s how to set yourself up for chemical storage success:

  • Follow all pool chemical storage regulations: Either your state or local government will have resources that explain the best practices for your area, as well as how to store your chemicals without violating environmental guidelines.
  • Keep your chemicals in locked cabinets or drawers: Pools are used by people of all ages, and the last thing you want is a young child grabbing a chlorine tablet or other chemical and getting burned or ingesting it.
  • Store your chemicals away from extreme temperatures and moisture: Many pool chemicals are flammable or could cause problems if they mix with water in incorrect ratios. Extreme heat or cold could affect the packaging.
  • Avoid mixed chemical storage: Keeping different chemicals away from each other will help prevent accidental mixing. All your pool chemicals will mix eventually in the water, but only in measured and diluted amounts. Improper mixing can cause property damage as well as health risks.

Handling Pool Chemicals

Your pool’s chemistry will need to be checked and modified to keep chlorine and other additives at a safe level. The first step to the safe handling of pool chemicals is to always read and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Even if you’ve used the chemicals in the past, always confirm the correct usage and dosage.

In addition to following the manufacturer's instructions, we recommend:

  • Using personal protective equipment: The most common injuries include chemical burns. Wearing goggles, chemical-resistant gloves, and fresh air masks may help protect you from chemical burns and/or inhaling these gases.
  • Avoiding opening chemicals in closed or poorly ventilated areas: A well-ventilated area helps dissipate the chemicals in the air so you’re in less danger of respiratory irritation. Always open containers away from you.
  • Using proper measurements and mixing methods: When you add more chemicals to the pool than you need to, you run the risk of potential chemical injuries while swimming in the pool due to improper balance. When adding chlorine to your swimming pool, always remember to add the chlorine to the water; do not add water to the chlorine. When you add water to the chlorine it will begin to “heat up” and can create very dangerous chlorine gas.
  • Diluting chemicals properly: It is always recommended that you dilute granular chlorine (shock) before adding it to the swimming pool. For example, you may use a clean, empty bucket to dilute chlorine.

Ensure Pool Chemical Safety – Hire the Professionals

Following these safety tips when handling swimming pool chemicals can help you to safely treat your pool water. Or you could take the easier route! Hire professionals to handle your pool chemistry and never have to worry about your chemicals again. Request your service online or call (866) 253-0455 today.