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Chemicals That Keep Pools Clean Can Cause Harm

Illnesses and injury can often be prevented by adhering to CDC guidelines

THURSDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- An estimated 4,010 illnesses or injuries caused by exposure to pool chemicals happen every year; some or many of these could be avoided by adhering to established recommendations, according to research published in the Oct. 7 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Louise Mehler, M.D., Ph.D., of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation in Oakland, and colleagues analyzed data from the Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risk for the period 2002 to 2008 to assess the extent of pool chemical-related illness and injury during that time.

The researchers identified 584 cases in six states and estimated a total of 28,071 nationwide. In the case descriptions that included enough information, most of the illnesses or injuries were related to combining incompatible products, spilling and splashing chemicals, lack of inappropriate protective attire, and exposure to dust clouds or fumes when containers were opened.

"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," the authors write.

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