In June 2012 on a 90-degree day in Indianapolis, 80 unsuspecting children became violently ill after entering a public swimming pool. Upon jumping into the pool, hoards of children began vomiting as lifeguards descended upon the young swimmers to evacuate them. As the children were removed, a sharp chemical odor spread throughout the pool. The cause of the pool chemical smell has yet to be determined and the employee that worked at the pool that day may be able to shed some light on the toxic pool chemicals. However, the pool employee was taken along with six other swimmers and being treated for respiratory problems.
Toxic Swimming Pool
Currently, it is believed that a dangerous mix of pool chlorine gas caused the swimmers to suffer eye irritation, respiratory distress and vomiting. A pool cleaning solution called ACID Magic is a pretty tricky agent that if mixed wrong, can effect dangerous levels of toxicity in swimming pools.
The sick children were bussed to four different hospitals, yet none of the reactions turned out to be life-threatening. One child who forwent medical attention developed chest problems and swollen eyes bad enough that he was later sent to the emergency room.
When we send our children swimming, worrying about a toxic chemical-filled pool is the least of our concerns. The Center for Disease Control reports that one in every eight swimming pools is in violation of safety codes. In addition the Water and Health Council warned the public of illness-causing, dangerous bacteria that is a prevalent in poorly managed swimming pools.
Parents are advised to purchase PH and chlorine test strips that show whether or not the pool is a healthy balance of chemicals for safe swimming.
Signs You Shouldn't Jump in the Pool
- Water is Cloudy: Swimming pools should be clear and water should look inviting. A cloudy pool means it has been improperly maintained and that visibility is compromised.
- Prevalence of Algae: Many of us like to swim in lakes, yet blue-green algae can produce a toxic cyanobacteria. This smelly, slimy film that covers the surface of the lake looks green. Don't even let your pets in.
- Babies in the Water: There is nothing cuter than seeing a chubby little baby in a swimming suit splashing around in the water. Problem is, babies are not potty trained and even small amounts of defecation in the water can cause Giardia lamblia. If a person accidentally swallows pool water, a terrible episode of vomiting, along with diarrhea can occur.
- The Lifeguard Is Not Attentive: As we read about the incident above, the pool chemicals should be checked regularly (at least twice a day). If the pool is not maintained properly, the pool could contain the dreaded norovirus, which can cause stomach cramps and vomiting.
- Large Swimming Crowd: The more bodies in the pool, the more viruses, germs and bacteria.
- Seaweed Position: Which way is the seaweed drifting? Usually seaweed washes up on the beach and this is what you should look for. If the seaweed is floating away from the beach back out into the sea, that could indicate a riptide, which is dangerous even to the most seasoned swimmer.