Any info on Pristine Blue?

serenmarie

New member
Aug 10, 2010
2
I read a few threads here, but I was wondering if anyone has any documented info? My father in law is someone who is never ever ever wrong. They have started using Pristine Blue this summer in their in ground pool. I'm not much of a swimmer, so don't go often, but when I was out of town last week my husband took my kids almost every day. He said it's really green and cloudy. I had to take my son to the ER and then the dr for a follow up this weekend. He has a weird infection in the ear canal. Sunday he did not have anything behind his ear drum, but now has yellow stuff. The dr asked about swimming in a creek and I said only in the in laws pool. My husband had also been sick last week. After listening to his symptoms and reexamining my son she said thinks the pool caused both illnesses. My in laws have to have concrete proof of everything. She didn't listen when we told her what the dr said, she blamed it on our ankle length grass. :hammer:

They are only using Pristine BLue, nothing else. I read some where on here that it's not EPA approved to be used by itself, only with something else. Is there any documentation for that?
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
Welcome to TFP :wave:

here is an older thread with a link to australian literature

new-please-read-t12089.html

Bottom line though...why is the proof of burden on you? Hey inlaws, your son and grandchild got sick...can you please prove to me where this pristine blue has been approved by the EPA as a stand alone pool sanitizer?
 

lightingguy

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 17, 2010
513
Glendale, CA
From a family politics point of view - it seems like this issue has solved itself. Your family wont be going back in the pool, and it wont have to be you that keeps them out.

As you are painfully aware, no amount of "bulletproof" data can be provided to your in-laws to change their mind. The ability to comprehend and process the documentation will most likely be beyond them and anything that looks official is far too easy to dismiss as "government hogwash". Don't be too angry with your MIL - it's natural that she doesn't want to feel responsible for getting her grandchild sick.

If your in-laws have any real interest in understanding the issue more thoroughly give them your account and have them post the question here. They can read about bacterial kill rates and EPA classifications till their hearts content.
 

derekm

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2007
54
Eastern Canada
Our Canadian Department of Health's Consumer Product Safety Division makes it quite clear that copper sulphate is not a sanitizer:
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pest/part/protect-proteger/use-utiliser/_pool-piscine/copper-sulfate-cuivre-eng.php
Copper sulphate based products are used for the control of algae in swimming pools. Copper sulphate based products do not control microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses in swimming pool water. Only chlorine or bromine based products can provide this protection. To protect pool users, copper sulphate based products must be used in conjunction with chlorine or bromine based sanitizers.
The MSDS for Pristine Blue
http://www.agwaterchemical.com/images/labels/msds/PristineBlueMSDS.pdf
shows the main ingredient to be Copper Sulphate Pentahydrate.
The Pristine Blue product literature claims it controls both bacteria and algae. According to Heath Canada, this is NOT TRUE - copper sulphate controls algae only, and you need chlorine or bromine too kill the bacteria.
I would suggest sending the link to the Health Canada website to your in-laws (and never swim in their pool until chlorine is added!)
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
serenmarie said:
They are only using Pristine BLue, nothing else. I read some where on here that it's not EPA approved to be used by itself, only with something else. Is there any documentation for that?
You can also look at the APVMA website in Australia for more info on why copper or silver ions alone are not sufficient for sanitation.

PristineBlue® has an MSDS that indicates that it consists of 18.25%-21.75% of Copper sulfate pentahydrate with EPA registration number 64962-1. You can search for EPA registrations using the Pesticide Product Label System (PPLS) where the more recent submissions for labels (19-JUN-2009) have wording such as "PRISTINEBLUE is an innovative, unique formulation used for control of alage and suppression of bacterial growth in private and public pools, spas and hot tubs." The company that makes PristineBlue is Earth Science Laboratories, Inc. and they use the same master EPA registration number for several products including Earthtec as shown in the PAN Pesticides Database and is listed for multiple uses as a disinfectant and algaecide including use for swimming pools and hot tubs/spas.

However, this product has not passed EPA DIS/TSS-12 when used by itself since it cannot kill bacteria quickly enough. At the concentrations used in pool water, roughly 0.5 to 1.0 ppm copper based on their label instructions, it takes copper around 20-40 minutes for a 99% kill of most heterotrophic bacteria -- something for which chlorine at normal levels found in pools takes around 1 minute (with CYA in the water; 2-3 seconds with 1 ppm FC and no CYA for 99% kill). So the copper can generally kill many bacteria faster than they can reproduce, but cannot kill them quickly enough to prevent person-to-person transmission. [EDIT] As I now show in this post, copper ions at pool/spa concentrations don't kill most fecal coliform bacteria so can't even prevent uncontrolled bacterial growth for these bacteria. [END-EDIT] This is why it is not allowed to be used alone in commercial/public pools, but there are no regulations regarding what you must do in a residential pool with regard to sanitation. Also, metal ions such as copper and silver are not effective at killing viruses. For example, this paper shows that copper ions do a 90% inactivation of Herpes Simplex Virus in 30 minutes at 100-200 ppm, but that is far, far higher in concentration than found in pools (copper is usually < 1.0 ppm in pools).

The PristineBlue website claim of being a bactericide is inconsistent with FIFRA rules that prevent such claims for use in swimming pools or spas unless EPA DIS/TSS-12 is passed so I've written to the EPA about this. The product label regarding "suppression of bacterial growth" is more of a gray area and not as blatant as claiming to be a bactericide, something for which Zodiac got into trouble with Nature2 a while back. The EPA registration for PristineBlue® is shared by other products from the same manufacturer such as EarthTec, Aquadrop, Radiance, Agritec, CopCheck, Cleanwater Blue and Algae Shield where claiming to be a bactericide is much less restrictive when used for non-swimming water sources where there is not a constant introduction of new bather waste including fecal matter.

At any rate, I suspect that the pool was not only not using any chlorine, but didn't even have a decent amount of copper from PristineBlue in it. With copper in the water, it would not normally be green from algae. It might still get cloudy if one does not use any oxidizer. The PristineBlue system has PristinePower which is a non-chlorine shock (MPS) so if he is only using PristineBlue by itself with no oxidizer then you would end up swimming in an accumulation of sweat and urine.

Richard
 

teapot

In The Industry
Jul 25, 2009
574
London and France
Just adding a little to Richards excellent post.

Pristine blue=copper sulphate algeacide
Pristine power=potassium monopersulfate
Pristine clean=orthophosphoric Acid
Pristine extra=sodium dichlor, oops that's Chlorine and its supposed to be a non chlorine system.
Pristine clear=alum or pac flocculent.

As with so much information regarding Non chlorine products the owners of Pristine blue are not telling the whole truth.
They state "approved by the US EPA" (environmental protection agency)
This is not true for swimming pools, although copper is a registered pesticide it would not pass the tests for swimming pool sanitising and is NOT a certified swimming pool disinfectant.
Likewise the health and safety executive have not approved it either as they use the data from the Pool water treatment advisory group (PWTAG)

There are only 3 EPA approved disinfectants: chlorine, bromine and biguanide.
In Australia the government have made it illegal for any company to import or sell any copper or copper/silver/zinc additive that does not use chlorine at a low level as when they were put through testing a copper and monopersulfate combination failed to kill bateria and pathogens faster than they could multiply hence the possibility of fecal to oral transmission of infection.
http://www.pwtag.org/home.html

http://www.healthhype.com/stool-to-mout ... ction.html

http://services.apvma.gov.au/permits/response.jsp

You searched for permits using the following criteria.

Product Name contains "PRISTINE BLUE"

No permits were found.
 

chem geek

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LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
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San Rafael, CA USA
chem geek said:
The PristineBlue website claim of being a bactericide is inconsistent with FIFRA rules that prevent such claims for use in swimming pools or spas unless EPA DIS/TSS-12 is passed so I've written to the EPA about this. The product label regarding "suppression of bacterial growth" is more of a gray area and not as blatant as claiming to be a bactericide, something for which Zodiac got into trouble with Nature2 a while back.
So I just received a response from the EPA which said the following:

Thank you for contacting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the registration of the product PristineBlue with EPA registration number 64962-1. I appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns.

PristineBlue is registered with EPA registration number 64962-1. The product label information can be reviewed at http://oaspub.epa.gov/pestlabl/ppls.home. Enter the company number (64962) and the product number (1) into the designated locations. The product label information does not make a claim that the product is a chlorine replacement, nor does it make public health bacteriocide claims. The label only makes bacteriostat claims - bacteria odor control and suppression. Moreover, the label does not make a disinfection/sanitization claim. Based on that, it is not in violation of FIFRA regulations nor subject to EPA DIS/TSS-12.

However, upon review of the company's website, http://www.pristineblue.com/, the claims made raise concerns about their legality.

Our office will contact EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) and request that they review the situation and take appropriate action. Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.

I hope you find this information useful. Again, thank you for contacting EPA.
We'll see what happens. For reference, I took a snapshot of the webpage here (the missing header at the top uses Flash and was not saved) so that you can see if it changes over time. You can see that they promote the system as a non-chlorine system and that "PristineBlue®, the cornerstone of the system, is an environmentally friendly algicide and bactericide" which is simply not true (it's not a bactericide for swimming pools).
 

serenmarie

New member
Aug 10, 2010
2
Oh my gosh! I'm so sorry! I completely forgot to come back and check on this. The same son that got sick, has had a really rough few months with other health issues and the last few weeks have been kinda rough. Thank you so much for all the information. I will definitely pass it on!
 

anonapersona

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 5, 2008
2,598
I hope you son recovers soon. Perhaps knowing about this pool can help the doctors with treatment.
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
Just adding a link to my post where I've updated kill times for chlorine vs. copper and silver ions. Not only are copper ions slower to kill most bacteria and have minimal to no effect on most viruses nor protozoan oocysts, but copper ions at the concentration found in pools are ineffective against Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis and Staphylococcus aureus not even able to prevent uncontrolled bacterial growth for these bacteria found in fecal matter (some phenotypes of Pseudomonas aeruginosa are also not controlled by copper ions in pools). Swimmer's ear is an infection often caused by Staphylococcus aureus or Pseudomonas aeruginosa (see this paper and this paper). On the other hand, this paper indicates that water quality, as measured by fecal coliforms, was not found to be associated with otitis externa (swimmer's ear), but this paper, this paper, this paper and this paper came to the opposite conclusion (with epidemiological studies, one must often look at multiple studies before a clear pattern emerges).
 

teapot

In The Industry
Jul 25, 2009
574
London and France
That's very interesting research Richard and will take me a while to read. I certainly believe that on their own copper and silver ions do little in the way of fast kills but I would like to read similar documents on the effects of combining the metal ions with chlorine as the two may perform better than chlorine on it's own with regard to biofilm and some bacteria etc, where chlorine on its own is not so good.

Next season I will run my pool on low chlorine as this year 0.2ppm and the ACO additive but will leave the copper silver ioniser off.
With the possibilty of very fine filtration of water (Pentair and others) then lots of the additions may become un-necessary anyway so could lower chemical usage and therefore chemical production. Certainly lots of other industries are now lowering their chemical usage through better filtration, paper and brewing just to mention two.
 

vodka

Active member
Jan 13, 2011
43
south louisiana
so is this stuff dangerous? the wife once she gets it in her head about using something, nothing i can show her will make her think differently. She will just think that someone aint getting paid off or someone is getting paid by the chlorine company, which is basically how that usually works. So i was actually going to add a SWCG and then add this pristine blue every two weeks since it is more algae fighting then just regular chlorine, but is this stuff is poisonus to children i dont want it around my pool.
 

teapot

In The Industry
Jul 25, 2009
574
London and France
Is it dangerous?
Well additions of copper are dangerous to anyone with a plaster/tiled pool as you can easily stain the plaster/grouting. Plaster and grout have a high PH and even more so when brushed as part of your regular cleaning and a PH of 8.3 or higher causes the copper to drop out of suspension and that causes staining.
Dangerous to humans especially children No, you just don't need it if your swg is working properly and you follow the instruction in Pool School you will manage your pool without expensive additions.
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
Well it took over 1-1/2 years since my initial contact with them, but the EPA has finished the re-registration of PristineBlue® as of 03-May-2012 which you can find on this page of registrations (or this direct link to the PDF). The language of the registration no longer refers to "bactericide" nor to "control bacteria" and instead the product for pools is now limited to claim “to control algae and nonpublic health bacteria, and bacteria that cause odor problems in residential swimming pools, spas and hot tubs.” The “nonpublic health bacteria” is a reflection of the fact that copper ions alone do not even control (let alone kill) fecal or blood-borne bacteria at the concentrations of copper allowed in pools.

The PristineBlue® website has not yet changed, but I've notified the parent company Earth Science Laboratories, Inc. about that and that their product labeling needs to change as well.

The EPA has been doing hundreds of copper re-registrations so this cleaning up of the claims isn't just restricted to one product.
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
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San Rafael, CA USA
chem geek said:
The PristineBlue® website has not yet changed, but I've notified the parent company Earth Science Laboratories, Inc. about that and that their product labeling needs to change as well.
As can be seen from the current PristineBlue® website, they have changed it to conform with the re-registration. They now say:

PristineBlue® is used to control algae and nonpublic health bacteria, and bacteria that cause odor problems in residential swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs.
:
PristineBlue®, the cornerstone of the system, is an environmentally friendly algicide and bactericide*.
:
*Nonpublic Health Bacteria
 

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