Hazards & Health Risks Lurking at Your Local Community Pool

Tufftec Recreational Lockers


Whether you’re trying to escape the heat of summer or getting some regular exercise, a public pool can be a fun and relatively inexpensive way to enjoy your favorite water activities. However, there could be hidden dangers that you’re not aware of. Understanding the possible hazards and health risks at your local community pool can help you to protect yourself and your family.

If you’re an administrator or the manager of a public pool facility, this post will provide you with actionable tips for keeping your facility safe.

Locker Room Rust

When a building’s main feature is a few thousand gallons of water, it’s understandable that things will get wet. However, when water comes in contact with iron, rust is a serious concern. As a form of corrosion, rust can eat away at metal surfaces inside the pool’s locker room. This can include the lockers themselves as well other metal fixtures like benches.

When rust gets into the air, it can irritate the eyes, similar to the way dust does. It can also lead to stomach irritation if ingested accidentally. Inhaling rust particles is particularly concerning, since long-term exposure can lead to siderosis, a condition in which iron deposits build up in the lungs.

One way to keep rust to a minimum is to replace metal fixtures with other materials. HDPE, for example, is resistant to rust and corrosion, making it perfect for use in locker rooms. This highly durable plastic can be used for lockers, locker room benches and bathroom partitions.

Bacteria in the Showers

Although we use showers to get clean, these areas can be some of the dirtiest places in the pool building. Particularly, the partitions that separate one shower stall from the next can act as bacteria landing pads as the germs splash off the occupant and onto the surface of the partition. If not cleaned properly by the janitorial staff, these surfaces can continue to be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.

This is another area where HDPE plastic can offer some assistance. In addition to good cleaning practices, HDPE is resistant to bacteria. By being a poor surface for bacteria to live and multiply on, it helps to keep the showers and the rest of the locker room cleaner and healthier.


We all know about chlorine’s unpleasant smell, but did you also know that it could be potentially life threatening? Chlorine is used in pools because it helps to kill bacteria and fight off algae, but when it comes in contact with certain impurities in the water, it can produce haloacetic acids, which have been linked to cancer and birth defects.

To keep swimmers safe, pool officials should keep a close eye on the water’s pH and acidity levels. Proper cleaning should also be enforced to reduce impurities. Swimmers should never ingest pool water and always wash skin thoroughly after swimming in a chlorinated pool.

We hope you found this article on hazards and health risks at your community pool helpful. If you’d like to know more about HDPE and how it can improve the safety of your public pool, contact us at Scranton Products.