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Acute illness and injury from swimming pool disinfectants and other chemicals - United States, 2002-2008.
Mehler L; Beckman J; Badakhsh R; Diebolt-Brown B; Schwartz A; Higgins S; Gergely R; Calvert GM; Hudson NL
MMWR 2011 Oct; 60(39):1343-1347
Swimming pools require disinfectants and other chemicals to maintain water quality and prevent swimmers from acquiring infections. When these chemicals are stored or used improperly or when they are handled or applied by persons not using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), illness or injury can result. To assess the frequency of illness and injury related to pool chemicals, CDC analyzed data for the period 2002-2008 from six states participating in the Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risk (SENSOR)-Pesticides surveillance program and from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS). This report describes the results of that analysis, which identified 584 cases of illness or injury associated with pool chemicals in the six SENSOR-Pesticides states and indicated an estimated national total of 28,071 cases (based on 688 NEISS cases) during that period. For the 77 percent of state cases and 49 percent of NEISS cases that had sufficient information to determine factors contributing to illness or injury, the most common contributing factors included mixing incompatible products, spills and splashes of chemicals, lack of appropriate PPE use, and dust clouds or fumes generated by opening a chemical container. Adhering to existing CDC recommendations can prevent some of the reported illnesses and injuries, but additional measures (e.g., improving package design to limit the release of dust clouds and fumes when a container is opened, making containers child-proof, and making product labels easier to understand) might reduce them further.
Surveillance-programs; Water-purification; Poisons; Disinfectants; Quality-control; Chemical-cleaning; Infection-control; Injury-prevention; Disease-prevention; Disease-control; Hazardous-materials; Materials-handling; Materials-storage; Information-retrieval-systems; Storage-containers; Containers; Warning-signs; Personal-protective-equipment; Chlorine-compounds; Chemical-reactions; Control-equipment; Engineering-controls; Equipment-design
7782-50-5; 7681-52-9; 7778-54-3; 108-77-0; 108-80-5
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008466; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008468; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-009857; B10122011
Issue of Publication
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
CA; LA; TX; MI; NC; IA; OH
Michigan State University
Page last reviewed: December 18, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division