Research/studies Workplace exposures

Researchers offer tips for protecting pool workers from chlorine-based byproducts

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Photo: LeventKonuk/iStockphoto

Montreal – Pool facilities can take steps to help minimize worker exposure to chlorine-based disinfection byproducts, a new study suggests.

Also known as DBPs, these byproducts occur when a pool’s chlorine reacts to organic matter naturally present or introduced into the environment by swimmers. Researchers from scientific research firm IRSST measured DBP concentrations in both the water and air at 41 swimming pools and among 35 workers at eight pools. The study detected DBP contamination in biological samples from workers and increased DBP levels in the environment, although the exposure risk remains unidentified.

Until the risks of DBP are better understood, the researchers recommend that employers minimize worker exposure by increasing water and air exchange, and requiring swimmers to shower before swimming and wear a bathing cap.

The study was published Jan. 8.

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