Chlorine is one of the most commonly used chemicals in bleach, insect killers, and solvents. Additionally, swimming pools use chemicals to ensure they are properly disinfected and that the pH levels of water are kept at a safe level. Chlorine is the most commonly used chemical for keeping swimming pools and hot tubs free of bacteria. Quite often, gas cylinders that contain Sodium Hypochlorite (pressurised liquid chlorine) are stored in plant rooms and are connected to a system that adds chlorine to the pool in safe amounts. We'll dive further into the use and risks of chlorine and how to try to prevent any hazards from arising.
Swimming pools require a specific amount of chlorine to remain healthy. It is recommended the value of swimming pool chlorine should be between 1 - 1.5 parts per million (ppm). As well as chlorine values, pH values should be between 7.2 and 7.6 to ensure swimmers safety. To determine how much exactly to add to the pool, you need to calculate the exact size of the pool. This is an extremely important part of the process to ensure the correct concentration.
Chemicals used in Swimming Pools and Spa plant rooms can cause serious harm by creating a toxic atmosphere if not used correctly. Chemicals and gases found in swimming pool plant rooms are listed below and are known as Sodium Hypochlorite, Hydrochloric Acid, Bromine, Carbon Dioxide Gas, Chlorine Gas, and Ozone Gas. All of these substances can cause serious harm to workers or the public in the swimming pool. This article will look at the safety measures that should be in place when using these substances, particularly chlorine in swimming pools.
Chlorine in the gaseous form is poisonous and can cause acute damage to the upper and lower respiratory tract. It has a pungent odour and is 2.5 times heavier than air, so toxic concentrations gather at ground level, meaning it may be overlooked. Thankfully, it has a greenish colour which combined with its pungent odour there are a few clear warning signs. It is used in many industrial applications; however, it was once used as a chemical weapon in the world war. When chlorine gas contacts areas such as the throat, eyes and lungs, this can seriously damage these parts of the body. Symptoms from chlorine exposure include:
Long-term health issues are most likely to occur when exposed to high levels of chlorine and these health problems are fluid in the lungs, known as pulmonary edema, which also may not be instantly detectable. Other possible long-term issues could be bronchitis, lung disease, and tooth corrosion.
The degree of poisoning resulting from chlorine depends on the level of chlorine exposure and the length of time the person is exposed to the gas. At low concentrations of chlorine exposure such as 1 to 3 ppm, those affected may have eye or oral irritation. Around 15 ppm there can be an outbreak of pulmonary symptoms, and exposure of around 30 minutes at 430 ppm can be fatal.
In order to mitigate health hazards posed by chlorine, a gas detection solution is key. With the initial hazard coming from the plant room, a fixed system placed in this area should be the first consideration. The detector should be installed close to the points where chemicals will be mixed, providing the earliest warning of a toxic gas leak. Our team are experienced in the commissioning and installation of fixed gas detection.
Our recommended fixed and portable gas detection solutions for the detection of chlorine, carbon dioxide, or ozone.
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