Decoding the MAHC
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Decoding the MAHC: The Model Aquatic Health Code
The MAHC is a free resource based on science and best practices. Government agencies and the aquatics sector can use the MAHC
to make swimming and other water activities healthier and safer.
300 Million: Trips people in the U.S. make to pools and other swimming areas each year.
People who swim can enjoy:
- Increased physical & mental health.
- Lower risk for chronic diseases, joint & muscle pain, death.
- Increased quality of life & decreased disability in older age.
The Problem: But some places we swim aren't clean or safe. 1 in 8 pools closed immediately on routine inspection for critical health and safety problems.
Problems can lead to:
- Drowning: A leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1–14 years.
- Outbreaks: Recreational water illness outbreaks up from 15 a year (1993–2002) to 34 a year (2003–2012). A single outbreak can sicken thousands.
- Chemical Injuries: Almost 5,000 people visited the ER in 2012 for an injury linked to a pool chemical. Almost half were under 18 years of age. Almost 1/3 of local health departments do not regulate, inspect, or license public pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds at all.
The Solution: Use the MAHC
- To update existing codes for public swimming pools and other aquatic venues
- To incorporate guidelines into state and local aquatic programs
- However you want: use or modify the entire MAHC or pieces of it
The MAHC is NOT a federal law. It’s voluntary, model guidance to help reduce the burden on state and local pool programs that individually write their own codes.
The Public Health Impact:
The MAHC can help:
- Prevent drowning, illness, and injury.
- Raise minimum standards and reduce inspection violations.
- Keep pools open for more summer and year-round fun.
Help make swimming healthier and safer. Learn more about The Model Aquatic Health Code.
- Page last reviewed: July 10, 2016
- Page last updated: July 10, 2016
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