Swimming Pool Chemicals Cause Thousands of Injuries: CDC

Agency offers recommendations to cut down on risks

THURSDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- More than 28,000 cases of injury and illness caused by swimming pool chemicals are estimated to have occurred in the United States between 2002 and 2008, according to a new federal study.

Most of the cases occurred at private homes, and the most common problems were respiratory symptoms and eye and skin injuries, the researchers said.

The findings are based on projections from a nationally representative sample of hospital emergency rooms and a state-based injury and illness surveillance system, the researchers said.

They noted that people can suffer injury or illness when pool disinfectants and other chemicals are used or stored improperly, and when they are handled or applied by untrained people or those who don't use appropriate personal protective equipment.

Factors that led to injury and illness included lack of proper training and supervision, spills/splashes of chemicals, and mixing incompatible pool products.

The researchers outlined a number of ways to prevent pool chemical-related injuries and illness. They include: better chemical handling practices; pool chemical container and label redesign; and engineering controls, such as installing devices at pools to prevent the mixing of incompatible pool products.

The study appears in the Oct. 7 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More information

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers pool and spa safety tips.

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