Chlorine: The Cause of Irritated Eyes of Swimmers?

This poolside scenario will repeat itself many times this summer: Child emerges from swimming pool and approaches parent, rubbing his/her eyes. Parent takes one look at red-eyed child and exclaims, “There must be too much chlorine in the pool. Stay out of the water for a while.” Child agrees reluctantly. The belief that swimmers’ red,

Warning: Peeing in the Pool May Be Hazardous to Your Health

One in five American adults admit to “peeing in the pool,” according to our 2009 survey. That news elicits a collective “Yuk!” from the public. Now, new research conducted by the China Agricultural University and Purdue University (Lian et. al, 2014) draws a direct connection between swimming pool urination and potential negative health effects for

The Safe Drinking Water Act: A Blueprint for Protecting the Nation’s Drinking Water

Every day, over 160,000 municipal water systems provide safe, reliable drinking water to US consumers.  The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) protects the quality of US drinking water, to the great benefit of American public health.  This article provides a brief overview of this landmark legislation. The Safe Drinking Water Act applies to water systems

Providing Food and Water: The Great Balancing Act

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week announced it has awarded nearly $9 million in grants to four institutionsi to fund research to help protect the quality of the nation’s waters by managing nutrient pollution.  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy characterized nutrient pollution as “one of America’s most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems.” Inherent in

After the Flood: Tips for Safe Cleanup

In addition to wiping out roads and buildings, massive flooding such as that seen in Colorado this summer can result in unanticipated hazards from tainted floodwaters.  The problem arises when pathogen-laden wastewater and fecal material from animals mingles with floodwater.  Disease risks from exposure to waterborne germs carried by floodwater include dysentery and hepatitis as

Three Top Swimming Pool Myths

If you spend time at the pool this summer you probably will hear conversations that reinforce a few persistent myths about swimming pools. We invite you to check out three of the most popular myths below and then get the facts so that you can dazzle your poolside companions with your knowledge! Myth Fact If

Remember the Alamosa (Outbreak)!

“Remember the Alamo!” was the battle cry of Texans avenging the deaths in 1836 of nearly 200 of their own at the hands of the Mexican Army at the Alamo, a small mission chapel in San Antonio.  One hundred seventy-two years later in Alamosa, Colorado—a place with a similar name—a different sort of battle was

The Chlorine Residual: A Public Health Safeguard

Chlorine and chlorine-based disinfectants are used worldwide to destroy germs in drinking water and swimming pools. One of the reasons for the widespread use of chlorine disinfectants is that they provide a “residual” level of protection against waterborne pathogens. A chlorine residual is a low level of chlorine remaining in water after its initial application.

Winter Swimming with Healthier Indoor Air

Indoor pools can provide a wonderful venue for exercise during cold winter months. Swimming is a full-body, aerobic workout that is easy on the joints while building muscle strength and tone. Yet, poor indoor air quality may be a deterrent to winter swimming. What causes poor indoor pool air quality, and what can be done

Cholera: Overcoming the Symptoms and the Disease

Global cholera is as much a symptom of a failure of the global community as it is a disease of the developing world. That is the opinion of a trio of public health physicians writing in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM, January 9, 2013, “The Cure for Cholera – Improving Access to Safe