TODAY’S POOL CHEMICALS handle a variety of tasks, from keeping the pool water clear
and clean to protecting the water from algae
and bacteria. And they’ve made pool care a
pretty simple operation; check the pH, toss in a
couple cups or tablets and you’re done.
The simplicity may make you forget that,
as beneficial as the chemicals are, they can be
hazardous, and need to be treated with care.
According to the American Association of
Poison Control Centers, fires, toxic vapor
releases and injuries have occurred in which
pool chemicals were a factor.
For instance, getting chemicals wet in their
containers is one of the most common hazards.
“In this case, you’ve activated something
that is meant to be diluted by about 7,000 gallons of pool water,” says Mary Costanzo, a quality assurance manager at BioLab, manufacturer
of pool chemicals. “When wetted by a small
quantity of water [even a wet scoop can cause a
reaction] it’s extremely concentrated.”
Another common problem is caused by
mixing of chemicals. “Often people think, ‘It’s
going to be mixed in the pool; I’ll just mix it in
this container first’,” says Costanzo. However,
she says, this can result in a toxic gas.
Costanzo wants to make sure that people
strike the correct balance between being
warned and being scared: “The pool is designed
to be fun. By following some simple guidelines,
it will be safe, too.”—T. Foster Jones
• Don’t mix chemicals together.
• Don’t expose chemicals to heat or flame.
• Don’t store oxidizers and acid together.
• Don’t store pool chemicals near gasoline,
fertilizers, paints or flammable materials.
• Keep chemicals out of the reach of
children and pets.
• Keep containers closed when not in use.
• Use separate plastic measuring cups for
• Wear appropriate protective clothing,
including gloves and footwear.
• Protect chemicals from moisture.
• Wash your hands thoroughly after
• Keep the poison center hot-line number,
toll-free 1-800-222-1222, posted near the
chemicals and near the telephone.
The Costco Connection
Costco carries pool supplies, including slow-dissolving 3" Tablets Plus.
= available at most warehouses
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*Price shown is per person based on double occupancy, is valid for
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gratuities. Restrictions and blackout dates may apply. All offers are
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Costco Travel is a registered seller of travel and travel agency in the
following states: Washington (WST 602042600), Ohio (8789302),
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approval by the state of California. 06 TR0703_B 5/06