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Respiratory and ocular symptoms among employees of a hotel indoor waterpark resort - Ohio, 2007.
Stansbury-D; Yeager-C; Chen-L; Mueller-C; Dunn-KH; Almaguer-D; Ernst-J; Otto-C; Dang-B; Gong-F
MMWR 2009 Feb; 58(4):81-85
During January-March 2007, the Warren County Combined Health District (WCCHD) received 665 reports of respiratory and eye irritation from patrons and lifeguards at a hotel indoor waterpark resort in Ohio. Tests revealed normal water chemistry and air chlorine concentrations, and exposure to airborne trichloramine in the waterpark was suspected as the cause of the symptoms. Because of the number of symptom reports and WCCHD's limited ability to measure trichloramine, the district requested an investigation by CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). This report describes the results of that investigation, which revealed that trichloramine concentrations in the waterpark ranged from below the limit of detection to 1.06 mg/m3, and some concentrations were at levels that have been reported to cause irritation symptoms (>0.5 mg/m3) (1). Lifeguards reported significantly more work-related symptoms (e.g., cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and eye irritation) than unexposed hotel employees. Lifeguards also reported significantly more eye irritation and cough on days when hotel occupancy was high versus low. Insufficient air movement and distribution likely led to accumulation of trichloramine and exacerbation of symptoms. Based on recommendations to increase air movement and distribution at pool deck level, hotel management modified the ventilation system extensively, and subsequently no new cases were reported to WCCHD. The results of this investigation emphasize the importance of appropriate design and monitoring of ventilation and water systems in preventing illness in indoor waterparks.
Respiratory-system-disorders; Eye-irritants; Water-purification; Water-sampling; Chlorine-compounds; Air-sampling; Ventilation-systems; Air-flow; Region-5
Journal Article; Trade
Issue of Publication
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division