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A U.S. Air Force Base Sanitized Drinking Water with a Pesticide Used in Swimming Pools

A U.S. Air Force Base Sanitized Drinking Water with a Pesticide Used in Swimming Pools

How can that be?

"Although Andersen Air Force Base received the notices of violation for the Northwest Field water tank, at no time was the water deemed unsafe to drink."

Personnel at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam had been consuming drinking water that had been sanitized with chlorination tablets typically used in swimming pools, an Air Force spokesman confirmed Stars and Stripes.

The Guam Environmental Protection Agency issued a fine in early January after discovering that the base water tank operator was using chlorination tablets containing trichloro-s-triazinetrione, "an EPA-registered pesticide sold for use as a sanitizer for pools and spas" according to the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals.

  • According to Stars and Stripes, the operator told EPA inspectors that "he did not know how long the base had been using the pool tablets in drinking water" even thought they were clearly labeled "Pool Time Chlorination Tabs."

  • Exposure to trichloro-s-triazinetrione can cause irritation to the human skin, eyes, mucous membranes, as well as the human respiratory tract, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine

  • "[It was] very unlikely that the use of the Pool Time chlorination tabs resulted in any adverse health effects," a 36th Wing spokesman said in a statement. "Although Andersen Air Force Base received the notices of violation for the Northwest Field water tank, at no time was the water deemed unsafe to drink."

This article by Jared Keller originally appeared at Task & Purpose. Follow Task & Purpose on Twitter. This article first appeared in 2019.

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