Pool Chemicals React to Water

Swimming pool chemicals are meant to be soluble in water, and react the minute they touch the pool water. However, any moisture at all, from rain or humidity or from spilled liquids will cause pool chemicals to react, and to produce fumes.

Pool Chemicals React to Contaminants

Dirt, dust, insects, bits of paper, leaves – nearly any foreign substance can cause pool chemicals to react and possibly ignite, with strong flames and fumes. Chemicals spills should never be swept up and placed back into a container.

Pool Chemicals React to Other Pool Chemicals

Never mix pool chemicals, and always use a clean scoop. Small traces of different chlorine types, or acids or bases, algaecide, antifreeze – just drops, is all it takes to ignite chorine shock or tablets, with the potential for violent flames and noxious fumes.

INHALED CHLORINE

If you opened a bucket of chlorine tablets, or a chlorinator and inhaled chlorine fumes, or while broadcasting pool shock into the wind, inhaled chlorine dust, here’s what to do.

  1. Stand up, and move to fresh air; chlorine gas is heavier than air and sinks to the ground.
  2. Wash your face in the pool, or with a garden hose to remove any residue.
  3. Seek medical attention for symptoms that persist longer than a few minutes:
    1. Burning lungs and airways, stinging eyes
    2. Difficulty breathing or wheezing
    3. Dizziness, nausea and vomiting
    4. Chest tightness and coughing

Treatment for Chlorine Inhalation

Humidified oxygen and sometimes bronchodilators are inhaled while tests are given to assess lung function and responsiveness. Bicarbonates and glucocorticoids may also be administered. Doctors will check for signs of lung irritation (pneumonitis) and fluid retention (edema), and conduct tests to evaluate the flow of air and blood through the lungs. Follow-up visits will include lung function tests, blood pressure and listening for ‘crackles’ with a stethoscope, while the patient breathes deeply. They may also use a CT scan or x-ray of the chest region to assess damage or healing.

CHLORINE IN EYES

Liquid chlorine is can splash in the eye while pouring from a bottle, or tablet or shock dust or residue on your fingers can enter the eye with contact. Here’s what to do:

  1. Immediately rinse under a shower, sink, garden hose or water fountain. If none is nearby, dunk your head into the pool with eyes open, before locating a hose or faucet.
  2. Rinse the eyes for a minimum of 15 minutes, before seeking medical attention.
  3. Do not rub your eyes, but use your fingers to pull out the upper and lower eyelids to allow fresh water to fully irrigate the eyeball, while looking in different directions.
  4. Do not keep your eyes closed, but keep them open and blinking.

Treatment for Chlorine Splashed into Eyes

First aid and initial treatment for chlorine in the eyes is irrigating with a steady stream of water to rinse every part of the eyeball.

Seek immediate medical treatment for burning or irritated eyes following a 15 minute rinsing.

A medical doctor will likely irrigate the eye again to begin treatment, and apply some eye drops to numb the eye, followed by a close eye inspection for damage to the lens or cornea, or eyelids. A colored dye may be used to highlight deformities.

In most cases of chlorine in the eyes, the damage is minimal and you will be released with some eye drops or ointments, and an appointment for a follow up visit within a week.

INHALING MURIATIC ACID

If you inhaled muriatic acid, specifically the strong acid fumes while acid washing a pool or cleaning a brick wall, or flooring, here’s what to do.

  1. Immediately move to fresh air
  2. Rinse your face, mouth, eyes and nostrils for several minutes at the sink or shower.
  3. Breathe slowly and deeply, don’t hyperventilate.
  4. Seek immediate medical attention if symptoms like:
    1. Chest pain or wheezing
    2. Coughing blood or Choking
    3. Pulmonary edema (fluid in lungs)
    4. Strong irritation in lungs and airways
    5. Rapid drop in blood pressure
    6. Weakness, dizziness

Treatment for Inhaling Acid Fumes

Do not induce vomiting for acid inhalation, but give fluids and keep cool, while transporting to a medical facility or awaiting arrival of emergency personnel, depending on the severity of the exposure.

Treatments may include a mask to breathe humidified oxygen, or assisted breathing machines. A tracheal tube may be placed to open the airway if needed. A doctor may administer forms of beta-agonists or amines to make breathing easier by activating β2 receptors in the lung tissue.

Tests may include inserting a small camera to view airway passages and the esophagus to inspect the extent of any irritation. A chest c-ray or CT scan can also be used to better assess the extent of lung damage. For those with extensive damage, a program of physical therapy for the lungs would be used to improve respiratory function and strength.

ACID IN MOUTH

If muriatic acid or other form of hydrochloric acid is splashed into the mouth, or onto the skin, begin to rinse the mouth and lips with large quantities of water from a garden hose, sink faucet or shower. Continue to rinse for 15 minutes, and seek medical attention if needed.

If muriatic acid was swallowed, a different course of action is taken. Do not induce vomiting, but dilute the acid with a large glass of milk or water, and transport to a medical facility for treatment. Be sure to bring the bottle, if something other than muriatic acid used for pools.

If clothing has been wetted with acid, it should be promptly removed and the affected area rinsed, in a pool, bath, shower, or garden hose. Rinse continuously for 15 minutes.

Treatment for Acid in Mouth or Ingestion of Acid

For small amounts or splashes of acid in mouth, medical assistance may not be needed. If you experience continued pain, burning, swelling or other strong symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

If the victim drank muriatic acid or other type of acid, treatment by a doctor would likely include an endoscopy, to view the larynx, esophagus and stomach, to inspect for burns or tissue damage. Targeted medications may be administered to help speed healing in the affected areas.

In extreme cases, surgery may be required to repair or replace severely corroded tissue.

ACID IN EYES

Muriatic acid can splash in the eye while pouring from a bottle, or while acid washing a pool, or using acid for other cleaning chores. Sulfuric Acid can erupt from car or truck batteries. No matter which type of acid gets in your eyes, here’s what to do:

  1. Remove any clothing that has acid splashed on it, and immediately rinse under a shower, sink, garden hose or water fountain. If none is nearby, dunk your head into the pool with eyes open, before locating a hose or faucet.
  2. Rinse the eyes for a minimum of 15 minutes, before seeking medical attention.
  3. Do not rub your eyes, but use your fingers to pull out the upper and lower eyelids to allow fresh water to fully irrigate the eyeball, while looking in different directions.
  4. Seek medical treatment for acid in eyes immediately

Treatment for Acid Splashed into Eyes

First aid and initial treatment for acid in the eyes is irrigating with a steady stream of water to rinse every part of the eyeball.

Seek immediate medical treatment for burning or irritated eyes following a 15 minute rinsing.

A medical doctor will likely irrigate the eye again to begin treatment, and apply some eye drops to numb the eye, followed by a close eye inspection for damage to the lens or cornea, or eyelids. A colored dye may be used to highlight damaged areas.

In severe cases, temporary blindness may occur. Acid burns can require corneal or cataract surgery, or reconstructive procedures to the eyelids and procedures to help rebuild tissue.

MURIATIC ACID BURN

If you spill a small amount of muriatic acid on your skin, and wash it off immediately with water, the effect will be very minimal.

A severe muriatic acid burn can happen if not washed off within a few quick seconds however. Muriatic Acid (and Sulfuric Acid) begins to corrode the layers of skin and continues to burn through the tissue beneath, and can result in death if not stopped.

For a person with extensive acid burns, the immediate best first aid is to get them out of saturated clothing, and rinse thoroughly in a shower, or in the pool, while you call 911 for an ambulance. Seconds count with a muriatic acid burn – rinse quickly and thoroughly.

Treatment for a Muriatic Acid Burn

Initial treatment by a hospital would include irrigation and cleaning of the affected areas and they may administer a pain medication as well as treatment medications to reduce swelling and blood flow to the area, and afterwards apply a topical ointment and cover in gauze. Antibiotics are usually prescribed for a muriatic acid burn to control infection around open sores and lesions, which are kept clean and bandaged daily.

In cases where the burn is severe and has penetrated the tissue beneath the skin, permanent scarring will occur, and a focus on minimizing further damage and improving tissue health is used. Skin grafts may be needed in cases of extreme tissue corrosion.

Related Product Pages:

Acid Magic
Chlorine
No Mor Muriatic Acid