Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Allergic to my tub - Skin Rash after Use

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Allergic to my tub - Skin Rash after Use

    We are new to the hot tub world and I'm having an issue with 2 members of family getting a rash after use. My wife an youngest (13 yrs) develop a rash after they are in the tub. Myself and others that have used the tub do not have any issues. It's nothing like the pictures ofn the web of bacteria infctions and such, it seems like a posion ivey rash. We use EZ Spa chemicals and my water does test are fine when when I take a sample to my dealer for a full test. I'm wondering if anybody else has this issue, as my dealers states it's hard to believe it's the chemicals causing this, but my wife and son are both sensitive to whateve ris in the water. My next thought is change my treatment chemicals to another type like Baquacil. Any help would be great!

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,082

    Re: Allergic to my tub - Skin Rash after Use

    Welcome to TFP!

    I am sorry your wife and 13 year-old are getting a rash from the tub. Take a look at this link and see if it seems more like a rash caused by a chemical reaction or by a bacterial infection. For professional advice, you should have your family see a skin doctor for a proper diagnosis.

    From what I can tell, EZ SPA™ appears to be the following system:

    EZ Pre-Start™ is used after a fresh fill to remove metals since it is a metal sequestrant.
    Balance the water for pH, CH and TA.
    EZ Boost™ is used initially as a disinfectant/oxidizer and is 99% Dichlor. One is told to use 2-3 ounces for any spa size.
    EZ SpaOM™ is used once a week and is a combination product with a non-chlorine shock (probably MPS), a clarifier, scale inhibitor, and chemicals for water balance (pH, TA, CH). One is told to use 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) per 100 gallons. Note that one is told to wait at least one hour before entering the spa after using this product.
    One is then supposed to test for Total Chlorine in a test strip to see that it is 1 ppm or higher.
    After the above, for routine maintenance with an ozonator or mineral system one is told to use 1 ounce of EZ SpaOM™ per 200 gallons and 1 ounce of EZ Boost™ per 350 gallons once per week. With no ozonator or mineral system, one is told to use 1 ounce of EZ SpaOM™ per 100 gallons and the same 1 ounce of EZ Boost™ per 350 gallons per week.

    Is the above what you are doing? The amount of Dichlor they recommend is about 12 ppm Free Chlorine (FC). The amount of non-chlorine shock with no ozonator is roughly the same. So combined, these would handle about 3-4 person-hours of soaking per week. The problem is that the non-chlorine shock is not sufficient to kill bacteria while the chlorine may not last for the entire week. Did you notice any pattern for when your family got the rashses relative to when you dosed with EZ SpaOM™ and EZ Boost™? If they tended to get rashes in the day or two after such dosing, then the high MPS and possibly the high chlorine were likely to be the problem. Also, please describe the bather load in your spa -- how large is your spa and how often were people using the spa (and how many of them) and for how long each time?

    Non-chlorine shock (MPS) is irritating to some people so that is the most likely explanation, but let us know what you think based on the chart. You could switch to the Dichlor-then-bleach method and not need to use non-chlorine shock (MPS) at all. It will be a lot less expensive, but it will require you to add chlorine more frequently than once a week. If you are using the tub every day or two, then you could just add chlorine after you get out. We can help you with dosing, but let's first find out more about your current problem with the EZ products.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Allergic to my tub - Skin Rash after Use

    One of our close friends is a dermatologist and is not bacterial for sure as he has tested for that. I do most of what is said above, I do not test my water myself, my dealer does this using a computerized test each time I take water samples by. I do this about 2/3 times a week, as they are close by. I have the Jacuzzi 480 which holds around 480 gallons without an ozonator, but would add one if it would help for sure. We never use the spa within 7/8 hours after adding chemicals, as I normally do this in the morning before I leave for work just for that reason. My wife and I use the spa 4 to 5 times a week, but my kids use it about once a week. The rash comes up every time they use the spa, no matter what time of the week or when the chemicals are added. My water test always fall within my dealer's ranges, except one time my Chlorine was high at 6 ppm and it needed to be between 3/5 ppm. But I had added the EZ Spa Boost that morning before pulling my water sample, so I now pull my water samples on days I don't add chemicals. I add the EZ Spa (7&1) mix once a week and spread the EZ Spa Boost over the week in (2) treatments per the spa dealer. The have given me chemicals to raise the pH level and calcium hardness, but they were still in the scale just on the low end. The also provided a startup chemical package when we first open the spa, then we drained it then refilled just adding the hardness mix provide by my dealer. I have yet to drain the spa a second time, as we have only have it in service for 2 months. I have rinsed my filters per the filter cycle indicator on my spa's LCD display.

    Again, I have had no reaction nor has my oldest son. We are thinking is just something in the EZ Spa chemicals that they are reacting with, as they both have a allergy to nickel. My wife can only wear platinum jewelry and stainless steel watches, as she will develop a rash like we are seeing with the spa. My son can't wear a belt, as the nickel in the buckles causes a rash. They both shower after the bathing, which has seemed to help keep the rash down, but no stop it. My wife has been in many different spas while on trips with her girlfirends, and has never had this reaction.

    We are confused and are trying to see if changing the chemical makeup will help.

    Thanks for any help!

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,082

    Re: Allergic to my tub - Skin Rash after Use

    Well that's interesting about the reaction to nickel. Unfortunately, I can't find an MSDS or an ingredients list on the EZ products except for the Dichlor so in particular I don't know everything that is in the EZ SpaOM™ product which is the most likely culprit. I would be surprised if it had nickel based on what it is supposed to do, but one never knows.

    Do you know if your water supply for your house from which you shower and bathe is chlorinated (i.e. uses chlorine in the water distribution system) or is chloraminated (i.e. uses monochloramine in the water distribution system) and whether your wife and youngest son have any problem with such tap water? If not, then a chlorine-only system may work better for you. Baquacil/biguanide/PHMB would be a last choice non-chlorine alternative (normally Nature2 with MPS is the better non-chlorine alternative, but if there are any issues with MPS then that wouldn't be as good for you).

    Since your wife has been in spas on trips, if those were commercial/public spas then it's most likely they where chlorinated. Given your relatively frequent usage of the spa, it seems to me that the Dichlor-then-bleach method would work for you. It is described in Using Chlorine in a Spa. The only modifications to what is recommended in that post is that I'd have the Total Alkalinity (TA) down to 50 ppm and definitely add the 50 ppm Borates (say, from ProTeam® Gentle Spa) as that will help keep the pH from rising too quickly once you switch to bleach. If you decide to go this route, then note that every person-hour of soaking will require around 3-1/2 teaspoons of Dichlor or 5 fluid ounces of 6% bleach (say, Clorox Regular or an off-brand Ultra bleach) though really you test your FC level before your next soak such that it is 1-2 ppm, assuming you want a minimal amount of chlorine during your soak.

    As for an ozonator, it will help reduce the amount of chlorine you would need since you use your spa every day or two. It's for less frequently used spas where an ozonator actually ends up using more chlorine since ozone not only oxidizes bather waste, but also reacts with chlorine.

    [EDIT] JamesW found this MSDS for what appears to be the E-Z Pool® product that may be similar to the EZ SpaOM® product, at least in some ways. It has 7 chemicals in it where the first one is the oxidizer and is known to be an irritant, at least in concentrated form. This might be MPS or it might be potassium peroxydisulfate which is even more irritating and is a 3% minor component in MPS products. Proprietary Compound #7 is copper sulfate, but may only be in the pool product since algae is not normally a problem in spas (copper ions are an algaecide). The MSDS also refers to aluminum chloride as Proprietary Compound #6 that may be used for clarification (as an alum floc). [END-EDIT]
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Allergic to my tub - Skin Rash after Use

    Compound # 1 shows a solubility of 4.7 g/100 cc water, which corresponds to potassium persulfate (potassium peroxydisulfate) and wouldn't be potassium peroxymonosulfate (MPS).

    Compound # 3 is most likely Ammonium Chloride. It looks like they got the msds information from here.

    Compound # 4 lists a solubility of 74.5 g/100 cc at 20 °C, and 159g/ 100 cc at 100°C, which corresponds to calcium chloride.

    Some references say that it contains "a common dry acid", which is probably sodium bisulfate.

    1) Oxidizer (most likely potassium persulfate)
    2) Sodium bisulfate
    3) Ammonium chloride
    4) Calcium chloride
    5) Sodium Bicarbonate
    6) Aluminum chloride (possibly Aluminum chlorohydrate, which is what is in HTH Green to Blue).
    7) Copper sulfate

    The potassium peroxydisulfate would explain the irritation. The above is from the "ez pool" msds and might be a little different for the spa product. However, I think that potassium persulfate is the same.

    Did the water turn any colors (like purple) when you added the ez spa?

    Note: The manufacturer has not made their ingredient information readily available, so the above information is a best guess based on the available information.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,082

    Re: Allergic to my tub - Skin Rash after Use

    Note that the above product is for pools and the product for spas may be somewhat different. If they are truly using peroxydisulfate as the oxidizer, then I can absolute understand the irritation since it is definitely known to irritate skin even when diluted in water. In fact, it is also a minor (3%) component of MPS products that is the primary cause for its irritation. So I think we've nailed the problem for you as most likely being the oxidizer in the EZ SpaOM™ product.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Allergic to my tub - Skin Rash after Use

    The ez pool msds gives the LD50 (Oral-Rat) as 802 mg/kg for compound # 1, which corresponds to potassium persulfate (potassium peroxydisulfate).

    Therefore, I think that it's safe to conclude based on the solubility and toxicity, that it is definitely potassium peroxydisulfate.

    Note: I changed number 5 from cyanuric acid to baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) because that matches the toxicity information given in the MSDS. However, the MSDS does say:

    Waste only contains a mixture of salts and cyanuric acid which is biodegradable.
    Therefore, it does seem that it might contain cyanuric acid (at least for the pool product).

    A product called EZ OM is described here:
    Six products in one. It is the perfect mate for O-zone and mineral purifiers and traditional sanitizers too. Potassium Persulfate, Sodium Bisulfate, Clarifier, Softner, Calcium Hardness, Sodium Bicarbonate, and other inert ingredients.
    http://www.royalfiberglasspoolsofny.com ... oductID=73
    Actually, the picture of the bottle says ez spa OM and shows the ingredients on the bottle.
    http://www.royalfiberglasspoolsofny.com ... _om_sm.gif

  8. Back To Top    #8

    TFP Guide

    In the Industry

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    New Brunswick Canada
    Posts
    819

    Re: Allergic to my tub - Skin Rash after Use

    I can relate...and it is in fact a reaction to Chlorine, not seen in pools, but will show up in hot tubs when temps are above 95....I believe the pores open an that is where it happens.

    I have had reactions from the time I switched my spa over to chlorine and never had one issue with Bromine.

    As I know it, there are only two ways to sanitize, Chlorine or Bromine... I suggest you convert your Spa over to Bromine as they show in the Sticky at top of Spa section. Wait two weeks to give the reaction areas time to calm down.

    It amazes me how many people will say no way, there are no reactions to Chlorine and they are VERY VERY Rare...well..if you have it...you know what I am referring too.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Allergic to my tub - Skin Rash after Use

    The poster is using ez spa OM, which contains potassium persulfate as shown in this picture. Potassium persulfate is a known irritant and is almost definitely the cause of the irritation.

    http://www.royalfiberglasspoolsofny.com ... _om_sm.gif

    Here are 2 other products that use peroxydisulfate.

    http://hyclor.com.au/pdfs/MSDS%20Spa%20Shock.pdf

    http://www.kem-tek.com/MSDS/263%20MSDS.pdf

  10. Back To Top    #10

    TFP Guide

    In the Industry

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    New Brunswick Canada
    Posts
    819

    Re: Allergic to my tub - Skin Rash after Use

    In my case, I can state that it is Chlorine. Alot of companies can not get past the idea that Chlorine can be the cause. I also believe it is a connection with Eczema or some other skin ailment that the Chlorine irritates. Lets face it, with a hot tub, you are basically adding chemicals to a "SOUP" over a period of 3 months in hope of keeping the water clear and clean.

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Allergic to my tub - Skin Rash after Use

    Thought I would let you guys know what I have found out on this subject. I did switch to the Jacuzzi ProClear cartridge, which is made by Nature 2, but they have a cartridge just for Jacuzzi ProClear filters. I have used this system now going on 3/4 weeks with no rashes or skin irritations from any family members. With that, it does point the skin irritation to the EzSpa system, as we did try a bromine that also did not cause in skin issues, but the strong bromine smell was not acceptable. The ProClear (Nature 2) system has no ordor and keeps the water clear and fresh just like EzSpa, just without the skin issues. So far, I've added the MPS Non-Chlorine shock after use and the water has remained stable with a monthly treatment of Dichlor as suggested. I test the water a few times a week with the Nature 2 test strips, and I had to boost the Alk/PH once in the 3/4 weeks, According to the information from ProCLear/Nature 2 cartridge, that's is expected when using the MPS shock as it does lower Alk/PH. Hope this may help somebody else!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •