SWIMMING POOL DISINFECTANTS

SWIMMING POOL DISINFECTANTS

Two common types of chemicals used to disinfect swimming pool water are calcium hypochlorite and chlorinated isocyanurates. These pool-chlorinating chemicals are sold in various forms under a number of names, including CCH, Constant Chlor, HTH, Pace, Prochlor, Pulsar, Sock It, Sun Bum, Sun Burst, Induclor, Pittabs, Pittclor, Repak, Sustain, Zappit, CDB, CDB Clearon, Constant Chlo, Sun, and ACL. Keep in mind that they are incompatible with each other and with most other chemicals used in pool water treatment, such as algicides, muriatic (hydrochloric) acid, clarifiers, pool conditioners, and tile cleaners. They are dry solids with ; strong oxidizing properties, stable when stored in a cool, dry, j ventilated area and when not contaminated by other chemicals such as acids, alkalis, and easily oxidizable materials. These chemicals also are referred to in the field as calhypos, dichlors, trichlors, and isos. Obtain an MSDS from the manufacturer to be sure which chemical you’re dealing with.

Incompatible mixtures. When these pool chemicals are mishandled, improperly stored, or contaminated, they bej come unstable and dangerous. They should be separated from each other its well as from liquids, since they react when wet. Some of the chemicals that are incompatible with calcium hypochlorite and chlorinated isocyanurates are acetic acid; paints, oils, and greases; glycerin; petroleum ! products such as gasoline and kerosene; ethers; amines; ammonia and ammonium salts; solvents such as toluene and turpentine; alcohols (methyl, ethyl, propyl alcohols); phenols; peroxides (hydrogen, sodium, calcium); reducing agents (sulfides, bisulfites, nitrates); and floor-sweeping compounds.

Fire and fume hazards. Calcium hypochlorite and chlorinated isocyanurates are not combustible. However, they do have thermal decomposition points. There also will be a dense white cloud of gases characteristic of any thermal decomposition of pool chemicals. The smoke is toxic and very difficult to see through. A number of heat sources are capable of raising them above their decomposition points, including a lighted cigarette or match, a hot welding rod or molten particles from a welding operation, a hot bearing on a conveyor, and a hot spot on conveying equipment caused by friction from metal-to-metal contact.

If the pool chemicals are contaminated with easily oxidized materials such as gasoline, oil, sawdust, or floor sweepings, a reaction can start, even at temperatures well below their decomposition points. In fact, contamination can cause spontaneous combustion at room temperature.

In extinguishing a fire, use copious amounts of water. Do not use dry chemical fire extinguishers.

Handling spills. DO NOT use floor sweeping compounds when cleaning up, put spilled material back in the original container, allow material to contact water, dispose of material in trash containers, or allow unneutralized material into sewers.

First-aid procedures. For skin or eye contact, immediately flush the skin or eyes with w^ater for 15 minutes. For ingestion, immediately drink large quantities of water and do not induce vomiting. For inhalation, immediately move victim to fresh air.

Note. In all cases, call CHEMTREC and ask to speak with the product safety specialist for the chemical involved.

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