From: Laurence Doemeny <ldoemeny**At_Symbol_Here**COX.NET>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Need a consulting organic chemist on safety issue
Date: November 30, 2012 7:07:14 PM EST
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <29b48.a1a2839.3dea828a**At_Symbol_Here**>

This is venturing a little out of my background but I agree with Karen’s recommendation to consult the health department.  If the solution becomes aerosolized it is a potential public health problem.  The temperatures discussed are ideal for bacterial growth.  While I do not know if the environment is conducive to the growth of organisms that cause your typical swimming pool illnesses or Pontiac Fever or Legionnaires Disease think about the liability the production assumes.  This could be both a workplace safety issue and a public health issue.


Please keep us up to date on the final decision.



Laurence Doemeny


From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of ACTSNYC**At_Symbol_Here**CS.COM
Sent: Friday, November 30, 2012 1:44 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Need a consulting organic chemist on safety issue


Oh you are SO right.  I did a whole radio program on WNYC on just this issue.  But The organization I'm dealing with is not going to back down without a fight.  That's why I want someone with heavy duty scenice creds to back me up on this.  And I am reaching out to the Health Dept.   But they usually consider these kinds of things as workplace safety issues since the public is not involved.   OSHA has no standards for this kind of thing other than the general duty clause.

What's a Mother to do?


In a message dated 11/30/2012 3:18:12 PM Eastern Standard Time, kls_1**At_Symbol_Here**COX.NET writes:

My initial snarky answer is that the only expert you need to put a halt to this idea is the local health dept., but if you want an example that might resonate with theatre folks, ask them why they think it is necessary to change the water in the bath after a professional pedicure.  This would be the same reason they would not want to get into that tub night after night.  I remember the pedicure industry was looking for a way to treat the water, like a swimming pool, so that people wouldn't have to change it so often, but they were unsuccessful (again, ten years ago). 

Essentially, a swimming pool is one huge buffer system that requires constant circulation and filtration to maintain a proper balance.  Balance means that the buffer works to keep the water in the pH range in which the system is effective at killing the bacteria.  When the water is out of balance, you cannot get the water into the proper pH range to kill bacteria. That is why you need to constantly circulate the water through the filter.  When you take the water to higher temperatures, as in hot tubs, it is even harder to keep balance. Here is a good article explaining what is taking place: 

The thing is, treated water can be very sensitive when trying to disinfect regular swimming activities, but when you throw in a bunch of other chemicals to make the water look like blood, and the fact that there is no circulation or filtration, then I think all bets are off. 

Here are some more resources from the CDC that are geared for the general population.



Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.