Low Calcium In Pools Can Cause Burns?
(Fort Myers, FL)
I recieved a call about someone having burns on their face. They said the doctor told them it's from low calcium levels in a pool.
The parameters were as they always are. Chlorine 3.5; pH 7.5; calcium 80 and alkalinity 90. In my 9 years have never heard of this.
Thanks for the question Robert
This is a new one for me as well. Since taking care of pools from 1999 until today, and being the YMCA pool operator since 2008, I've always seen a correlation between the alkalinity, pH, chlorine, and combined chlorine as the issues of burns and irritation.
Calcium hardness for plaster pools is more important than other kinds of pools. Having a higher level of calcium hardness, between 150 - 250ppm will reduce pitting of the plaster,but keep the heaters free of calcium build-up.
It's best to run the calcium, or total hardness of a pool, as low as you can without damaging any heaters or filtration systems.
I would ask if it's an indoor or outdoor pool. If it's indoor, what are the chloramine, or combined chlorine levels? If they're about 0.6ppm it would be a good time to shock the pool. There also could be an underlying chlorine allergy that the swimmer is not aware of.
I would definitely get a 2nd opinion from another doctor about a rash or burn allegedly caused by low calcium level. I would also ask the doctor on what evidence is he basing his decision or prognosis? How has that been established? Has he seen other cases of "low calcium burns"? If so, where and when, and what was the outcome?
I wouldn't press the issue too much, just get a 2nd opinion from another doctor. I've never heard of nor seen any "low calcium burns" in the nearly 13 years of taking care of pools. That's not saying they don't exist, it's just after taking care of hundreds of pools and thousands of hours for customers and businesses, I've never personally seen one case.
The only time I've seen a calcium burn was actually me. I added water to calcium and it steamed up. I received 1st degree burns, but I never did that again. Hope this helps and let me know how it turns out.
To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Calcium Hardness" category.
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