Chemical Accidents

alkali burn to eyes

- Pool Chemicals can cause burns, itching skin, respiratory problems, nausea, vomiting, pain, wheezing and other symptoms; so handle these chemicals with extreme caution to avoid accidents

  • Keep all chemicals away from children and pets
  • Read the manufacturers warning labels and their guidelines for transportation, handling, storage and use of each product
  • Do not repackage chemicals - keep them in their original, labelled containers

Calcium Hypochlorite burns to both eyes      

  • At some stage it is almost inevitable that you'll get one chemical or another on your skin or clothing - so wear something you don't mind getting a few bleached spots on, and wear goggles and rubber gloves when handling chemicals
  • Do not smoke or eat when handling pool chemicals

In any accident scenario there are 2 immediate priorities: 

  • Provide immediate aid and relief for the patient
  • Prevent further injury

Keep your head and think clearly

  • When you are sure that the patient is out of immediate danger call the Emergency Services for help and advice
  • If an accident does happen this is what you do: -

Pool Chemical contact on skin

  • Symptoms include redness, swelling, itching and/or pain
  • Contact with pool chemicals may result in serious burns or tissue damage
  • Rinse the affected skin with copious quantities of fresh water for 15 minutes
  • Remove any chemically contaminated clothing and soak it in cold, fresh water before washing

Inhalation of dust or fumes of Pool Chemicals

  • Symptoms may include salivation, vomiting, coughing, wheezing and respiratory problems
  • The patient may suffer respiratory arrest - i.e., they may stop breathing
  • Move the victim away from the chemicals and into fresh air

Pool Chemicals in one or both eyes

  • Rinse both eyes with copious quantities of fresh water and take immediately the injured person to the Emergency Department (ED) of a Hospital
  • If possible, call ahead to warn the ED that you are on your way, tell them the chemical concerned and/or take the chemicals container with you to the Hospital

Ingestion (swallowing) of Pool Chemicals

  • Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain/burning, mouth burns, dilated or constricted pupils, convulsions and/or loss of consciousness
  • Contact the Emergency number on the container (if available) or the Poison Control Centre and follow instructions carefully
  • Do not induce vomiting unless instructed to do so
  • Give the patient fresh cold water to drink unless they are unconscious
  • Take the patient to the ER - call ahead to warn of your arrival
  • Take the container with you to the ER

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Ken Walker - MyPoolGuru©