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May 2014
Occupational Health Watch: An update from the occupational Health Branch, CA Department of Public Health

Focus on

Pool Chemicals Can Cause Work-related Asthma

New fact sheets on pool chemicals and asthma are available for May Asthma Awareness Month and Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week (May 19-25).  These are produced by the Work-Related Asthma Prevention Program (WRAPP) of the California Department of Public Health.

Pool chemicals and the byproducts that form when pool chlorine mixes with swimmers’ sweat, urine, and other waste can cause or trigger asthma in people who work around pools, hot tubs, and water parks.

WRAPP has found that workers in many different jobs have developed asthma or had their asthma worsened from exposure to pool chemicals and/or their byproducts. Affected workers include lifeguards, swimming instructors, maintenance employees, pool supply retail workers, janitors, and others working in pool areas.

Workers can get asthma by breathing in pool chemicals in many different ways, but especially when they work in poorly ventilated areas.

A new set of fact sheets for workers in English and Spanish and for employers explain work-related asthma, how it can be prevented from pool chemical exposures, and what to do if a worker experiences symptoms.

Photo: Lifeguards and others are at risk from pool chemicals


Resources

Worker fact sheet (English)

Worker fact sheet (Spanish)

Employer fact sheet (English)

CDC Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week

OHB improves California worker health and safety through prevention activities.  We gather information on job hazards, test new approaches to prevent worker injury and illness, and help make changes at the workplace.
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