How to Avoid Explosions and Quieter Disasters
While pool chemicals can solve virtually all water problems, they can be dangerous to humans and animals if handled improperly. Chemicals can cause skin and eye damage and can even be fatal if swallowed. Right here…only two sentences into this article you may be thinking, “blah, blah, I have heard this before”. But let me tell you a quick and very sad story. There was a pool man who thought he knew safe chemical handling and storage pretty well. One day he left what he thought was a harmless 50 pound bag of soda ash where his Labrador could get into it. The dog did get into it because that is the way Lab’s are and the pool man ended up losing his dog. The pH of the animal’s body changed so much from ingesting the pH increaser that it did not survive. So when we talk about chemical safety it is for us and those we love…and everything we can learn is very important.
So with a new level of interest let’s look at some do's and don'ts for chemical safety. Think about each of these tips and how you can apply them to your routine.
Things You Should Do:
- Clean up spills as soon as they occur and safely dispose of the material. Dispose of all chemicals according to label directions.
- Store chemical products safely and out of the reach of small children and pets. Keep all pool chemicals in a cool, dry, ventilated area, away from other household chemicals.
- Keep chemical product containers tightly closed when not in use. Brace liquids so they won't tip while transporting them. Always read labels and follow directions carefully.
Things You Should Never Do:
- Never mix chemicals of any kind together. An uncontrolled reaction such as fuming, fire, or explosion could occur.
- Never mix two chlorine products from different containers together regardless of their similarities. All chlorine is not the same. There is two chlorine products that look very similar but combined they can be extremely dangerous.
- Never add water to chemicals. Always add the chemical to large amounts of water.
- Never throw chemicals into the trash or put spilled material back into the original container. It is extremely hazardous.
- Never store liquids directly above sanitizers and oxidizers.
- Never inhale fumes or allow products to get in your eyes, nose or mouth. When opening a product, point the container away from you. In the event of accidental contact or if product is swallowed, follow emergency advice on the product label and call your doctor and/or your local Poison Control Center. (California Poison Control # 1-800-222-1222)
These are just some of the basics we should all know, you may also like to get further training on Chemical Safety.
The APSP website has a Chemical Safety Video that you should watch
(http://apsp.org/safety/pool-chemical-safety.aspx). Also, consider a CPO Class and/or a class on Hazardous Material Handling.