Swimming Pool Chemicals: Tips for Safe Handling

A homeowner in Chautauqua County was applying stabilized chlorinating tablets to his swimming pool. The warning on the product label indicated that proper eye protection was necessary while using the tablets. The young man did not wear proper eye protection and dust from the product got into his eyes. He called the Poison Control Center and consulted his private physician about eye irritation that he experienced from the dust.


Educate yourself about pool chemicals.
Read product label and directions before each use. Follow manufacturer's instructions.
Use only pool chemicals in original labeled containers.
Use appropriate personal protective equipment.
Keep personal protective equipment clean and available for use.
Use dry tools to handle pool chemicals.
Wash hands after working with pool chemicals.
Keep children and animals away from pool chemicals.
Add pool chemicals to water, not the reverse.
Respond to pool chemical spills immediately.
Use a separate, designated tool for each pool chemical.


Add water to pool chemicals. Instead, add pool chemicals to the water.
Smoke while handling pool chemicals.
Store or consume food or beverages near handling locations.
Use a chemical from an unlabeled container.
Unseal more than one container at a time.
Mix different types of pool chemicals together.
Mix old and fresh chemicals, even if the same product.
Use a tool or piece of equipment for more than one chemical.
Pour chemicals down the drain or sewer. Contact your local hazardous waste disposal facility for more information.

For Additional Information

Send your questions and comments to bcehfp@health.ny.gov, or contact Swimming Pool staff at:

Center for Environmental Health
Bureau of Community Environmental Health & Food Protection
Empire State Plaza-Corning Tower, Room 1395
Albany, New York 12237
Phone: (518) 402-7600
Fax: (518) 402-7609