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The Power of Two

Splashing In Chemicals

Published July 23, 2014 10:13 AM by Eleanor Wolfram
As the weather heats up due to seasonal changes, professional and amateur swimmers from Arizona to Zimbabwe will be stripping down to swimwear to begin the water splashing ritual. I can't think of anyone who doesn't like a dip in the crisp clear waters.

But beware, because the CDC has issued alerts that emergency room visits for injuries form pool chemicals is on the rise. The CDC notes that beginning 2012, there are been a noticeable increase of chemical-related illnesses.

It doesn't take much research to uncover that for over 100 years, chemicals have been applied to swimming pools to kill off bacteria and other pathogens that could make people sick. And with the invention of whirlpools and hot tubs, the same chemical applications were instituted. But according to the CDC, improper additive applications, such as over use, unacceptable mixing, and inadequate storage is causing a rise in injuries.

The CDC in collaboration with another government agency, namely the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) has calculated that the number of hospital visits from chemical-associated pool injuries is on a steady climb. The most frequent diagnoses range from poisonings, vapor inhalations and the handling of chemicals without goggles and other protective wear.

What is notable is that both the CDC and NEISS report that the incidents of pool chemical-related injuries are preventable.

The result of the collaborative efforts between hospital emergency rooms and the two federal agencies collecting and analyzing data is a publication titled The CDC's Model Aquatic Health Code. This pamphlet can be used as a resource to prevent these types of injuries. I've viewed the model and let me say it is good to see that not only are volumes of public health data collecting data, but we also look to extract a meaningful outcome.

posted by Eleanor Wolfram


If I could give the world one precious physical gift, it would be clean water for everyone.  So many horrific infections are water-borne: cholera, hepatitis A and E, typhoid, polio, etc.  Parasites such as the Guinea worm could be eliminated with filters.  The WHO gets credit for reducing the latter.  Clean, pure water is so essential to a healthy life.  A cheer for all who are making it possible!

Linda Pifer, Clin. Lab . Sci. - Professor, Univ. of TN Health Sci. Cntr. September 20, 2014 6:21 PM
Memphis TN

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