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Poison Center Helpline 1-800-222-1222

Pool Chemicals

Swimming pools are the place to be on hot summer days. They’re great way for adults and children alike to beat the heat and have some fun. Pool chemicals that make it safe to swim can also be toxic if handled incorrectly. IPC offers information and tips to stay safe when adding chemicals to your own pool.

Chlorine Irritation

Pool chemicals containing chlorine are most commonly associated with unintentional poisoning. Chlorine fumes can cause minor to severe irritation of the eyes and lungs. People with asthma or other respiratory conditions are more sensitive to chlorine toxicity.

Symptoms

  • Red, itchy watery eyes

  • Runny nose

  • Coughing

  • Chest burning and tightness

  • Difficulty breathing 

What to Do

If you’ve been exposed to chlorine gas, immediately seek fresh air. Call the IPC for mild to moderate symptoms at 1-800-222-1222. Call 911 for severe symptoms such as trouble breathing.


Handling Tips

  • Always take caution when working with pool chemicals.

  • Open and use pool chemicals in a well-ventilated area and wear eye and skin protection.

  • Never sniff a chemical to see how potent it is.

  • Never mix chemicals unless specifically directed by product labels. 

IPC is here to help. Our toxicology experts are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer your questions and offer treatment advice. Calls to the IPC helpline, 1-800-222-1222, are free and confidential.

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