Swimming pools are fun. Who doesn’t love a swim on a warm, sunny day? However, swimming can also be dangerous, especially if you are in a chemical-laden, poorly-maintained swimming pool.
Let’s learn more about why you should always be extra careful about pool water chemicals. It includes both handling these chemicals and swimming in water with high levels of harmful chemicals.
The dangers of pool water chemicals
The chemicals used in swimming pools are harmful to our health. Chlorine, the most common pool chemical, is used to sanitize the water as it is a disinfectant. It kills bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that can be found in the water. However, chlorine is highly toxic. It irritates the eyes, skin, and lungs.
Ozone is also used in swimming pools because it is more effective than chlorine at killing bacteria. However, it is unstable and breaks down in sunlight. Another chemical – bromine – is safer than chlorine, but you should avoid direct contact with high-strength bromine at all times.
Apart from these, there are several other chemicals used in swimming pools. Some of them are:
- Copper sulfate: Many swimming pools contain copper sulfate to control the growth of algae. However, copper sulfate can also be very harmful to our health, especially when ingested. It has damaging effects on our livers and kidneys.
- Sodium Hypochlorite: Sodium Hypochlorite is a disinfectant for swimming pool water. It is also used to remove stains from swimming pools. When sodium hypochlorite is inhaled, it irritates the throat and causes headaches, coughing, nausea, vomiting, disorientation, and breathing problems.
- Algaecides: These chemicals are used to keep the water clean. They are used to kill algae and other microorganisms that grow in swimming pools. Many algaecides contain copper as an active ingredient, either in the form of copper sulfate or copper chelates. Coming in direct contact with algaecides isn’t good for human health.
Apart from these, swimming pools also contain cyanuric acid, oxidizers, pH increasers or decreasers, and alkalinity adjusters. While none of these chemicals is harmful when dissolved in pool water, coming in contact with them during application can cause a lot of damage.
Always be careful when handling swimming pool chemicals. Here are some basic guidelines you must follow:
- Always read the label of the product you are using
- Never mix different products together
- Only use chemicals as instructed by the manufacturer on the label
- Never store chemicals in containers that have been used for food or drink
- Store chemicals away from children and pets
- Never pour chemicals into a storm drain.
- Do not dispose of chemicals in the trash
- Always wear protective clothing like eye protection, gloves, and shoes when handling chemicals
- Wash hands with soap and water after handling chemicals
By following these simple steps, you can keep yourself and your loved ones out of danger. Swimming is fun, but maintaining a swimming pool is serious work that involves strong chemicals. If you are unsure about anything, it’s always better to consult a professional instead of handling chemicals you have no idea how to use.
Importance of swimming pool chemicals
Pool chemicals are important, and we can also argue that they do more good than harm. The harmful effects of pool chemicals come into effect only when they are mishandled or mismanaged. When used carefully and under supervision, pool chemicals are completely safe to use.
It’s impossible to maintain a traditional chlorine pool without chemicals. Your pool will become dirty and unswimmable in no time. There will be significant algae and bacteria growth in the dirty water. Over time, the algae, bacteria, and pollutants will do more harm than the chemicals ever could.
The key is to understand each pool chemical, its dangers, and how to use them safely. If you are inexperienced with pool chemicals, hire a professional.
Chlorine and bromine are the two most commonly used chemicals in traditional swimming pools newcastle. Bromine is safer than chlorine but comes with several application complications. If possible, switch to bromine from chlorine. Otherwise, learn about the different types of chlorine and determine which is the safest for you and your loved ones.
Don’t want to deal with the complicated swimming pool chemicals? A safer alternative is switching to a saltwater pool.
Saltwater pools: A safer alternative to chlorine pools
Saltwater pools use natural salt instead of chlorine or bromine to sanitise pool water. The water in a saltwater pool is sanitised by electrolysis, which occurs when an electrical current is applied to the pool water. The current causes the salt to break down into chlorine, which sanitises the water. The chlorine is then pulled back into the water by a vacuum pump. Saltwater pools are safe for swimmers because they do not contain any harsh chemicals.
The only drawback to a saltwater pool is that you must replace the salt regularly, and the initial setup cost is high. Apart from that, saltwater pools are a great alternative to chemical-laden chlorine pools.
What to do if you come in contact with a harmful chemical?
Prevention is better than cure, but prevention isn’t always possible. If you have come in contact with a harsh and harmful chemical, rinse it off with regular water first. Depending on the severity of the injury, you should either apply first aid or rush to a doctor.
Many chemical product packages contain instructions on what to do in case someone ingests them. Read it carefully and follow the directions. In almost all cases, rushing to the hospital is the best option.
Chemicals are an integral part of traditional swimming pools. They are harmful only when used incorrectly. For the rest of the time, chemicals help in keeping our pools clean and hygienic.
Educate yourself about their dangers and benefits if you regularly deal with pool chemicals. Learn about the best ways to use the chemicals and what to do in case of an accident. Consider switching to a saltwater pool if that’s an option. Stay safe and enjoy swimming this summer.