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Exposure to Pool Chemicals Sickens 40

Dozens of people at a California water park became sick last Thursday afternoon, forcing the water park to close.

Seventeen people were taken to a local hospital for treatment and 23 were treated at the the Prewett Family Park in Antioch, California. The majority of those who fell ill were children.

Witnesses said that those who became sick were vomiting and complaining of burning throats.

Officials originally believed that those who became ill were exposed to high levels of sodium hypochlorite, a form of chlorine.

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According to Robert Marshall, fire marshal for the Contra Costa County fire protection district, this kind of accident happens occasionally at pools throughout the area, but there usually aren’t as many victims as in this case.

The city’s hazardous materials and environmental health team in conjunction with the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health are performing an investigation into what caused the exposure to the chemical.

Contra Costa Health Services' chief environmental health and hazardous materials officer Randall Sawyer said, “We are concentrating on the storage and delivery of the sodium hypochlorite into the pool. We believe that changes do need to be done with this system and that by making these changes it may prevent such an exposure that occurred yesterday."

Following the investigation, officials were not able to find a cause for the illnesses and are not sure of what is to blame. The park reopened for business on Saturday.  

FROM AB: Improving Pool Safety with Model Aquatic Health Code

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