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Occupational Health Branch

Pool Chemical Safety

pool-lifeguard-300x333Chemicals used to clean and disinfect pools can be hazardous. Common problems include eye damage, difficulty breathing such as from asthma, and skin burns. These injuries can occur among lifeguards, swimming instructors, maintenance employees, pool supply retail and delivery workers, janitors, and others who work near pools.

Resources on this page can help workers, employers, and pool operators prevent pool injuries and illnesses.

Educational Materials

Protecting Pool Workers from Chemical Injuries & Illnesses (PDF) | Spanish | Chinese - booklet, August 2018

Pool Chemical Safety: Be Safe at Work! (PDF) | Spanish | Chinese - workplace poster

Pool Chemicals and Work-Related Asthma: Information for Workers (PDF) | Spanish (PDF) | Chinese (PDF) | Korean (PDF) | Tagalog (PDF) | Vietnamese (PDF) – fact sheet, April 2014

Preventing Asthma from Pool Chemicals – Occupational Health Watch, May 2014


Model Aquatic Health Code: Prevent Pool Chlorine Exposure Incidents (PDF)

Journal Articles

Inhalational Chlorine Injuries at Public Aquatic Venues — California, 2008–2015 - MMWR Report (2017)

Swimming Facilities and Work-Related Asthma – journal article abstract, 2014

Acute illness and injury from swimming pool disinfectants – MMWR Report (2011)


California Code of Regulations (CCR) Public Pool Disinfection Requirements

Model Aquatic Health Code - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Preventing Pool Chemical Injuries - CDC

FAQ: Swimming Pool Product Safety - Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

Work-Related Asthma Prevention Program - CDPH

Occupational Pesticide Prevention Program - CDPH

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