LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – It's steam bath weather in WAVE Country and that means pools and water parks are packed. If you love to cool off, but dread having red itchy eyes afterward, this health alert from the NBC Today show will make you think twice before jumping in.
The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Healthy Swimming Program is warning families of the hidden dangers of pool water.
Healthy swimming program is warning families of the hidden dangers of pool water. If the smell of chlorine is harsh, doctors say, the pool is contaminated. The strong odor is chlorine mixing with chemicals and pee, poop, sweat, and dirt.
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Mel Gehring is an optometrist and says the contamination causes extreme dryness to the eyes and can also cause a chemical allergy to the eyes.
So how do you know if a pool or water park is healthy and safe to use? Chlorine levels should be between 1 to 3 parts per million, and the pH should be between 7.2 to 7.8. This is important because it determines how effective the chlorine is.
The CDC recommends asking officials at public pools for its pool inspection report if you're concerned about safety. At home, use test strips to monitor contamination levels.
Doctors say a good pair of goggles will lower your risk of eye irritation, while Cryptosporidium, a germ that causes diarrhea, can live in chemically-treated water for up to ten days.