Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

August 2022


Association of Aquatic Professionals Contributes to CMAHC Indoor Air Quality Study

The Association of Aquatic Professionals (AOAP) recently donated $10,000 in support of the Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code's (CMAHC) Indoor Air Quality Study, an ongoing research project focused on developing a mathematical model that will identify the connections between indoor air quality, pool design and pool operations. The results of the research will help the aquatics industry understand and better address real-world design and operational issues to enable safer air quality measurements for swimmers, patrons and aquatic staff.

AOAP feels that the Air Quality Study will benefit its members, and indoor aquatic facilities in general, according to Executive Director and CEO Juliene Hefter. "The health and wellness or our entire aquatic industry, communities and patrons that go to indoor aquatic facilities is at the forefront in our mission for safety at aquatic venues," she added.

"Poor air quality at indoor pools is being increasingly linked to respiratory illnesses in swimmers and aquatic staff," said Kristie Riester, executive director, CMAHC. "This likely happens due to chemical compounds, which can build up in the air and cause a variety of health issues, including nasal and skin irritation, stinging eyes, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and asthma attacks. This generous contribution is a true testament to AOAP's dedication to support research for this critical public health issue."

When it comes to air quality at indoor pools, the most common issue tends to be excessive chlorine odor, which can cause the nose, eyes and lungs to burn. Biological and chemical substances that are concerning while in the water are just as dangerous when they become airborne. For example, the potentially deadly infectious biological organism Legionella, which can cause Legionnaires' disease, a serious type of pneumonia that is spread through the air in wet environments or when infected water is accidentally swallowed.

The CDC's Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) provides a comprehensive set of voluntary guidelines for developing effective standards and codes aimed at preventing aquatic-related public health issues, such as using the wrong chemical or too much of a chemical, as well as outbreaks caused by bacteria. The MAHC is free and accessible to everyone.

To learn more about the Indoor Air Quality Study or to donate, visit https://cmahc.org/posts/support-cmahc-s-indoor-air-quality-study-an-important-public-health-issue.

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