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8045 Zurich, Switzerland

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02.05.2019

Biocdes in the swimming pool – is it approved?

In order to keep water quality within the guidelines of public authority hygiene standards, there is no alternative but to use biocidal products.

The use of chemical substances for treating swimming pool water is restricted by many different legal requirements. In addition to a legally mandated special permit for disinfecting bathing water in public swimming pools, only biocidal products approved by the Notification Authority for chemicals (Federal Office of Public Health) may be used for disinfecting water.

Care must be taken here to recognize the difference between a biocidal product and a “normal” chemical. Often, the way a product is declared makes all the difference. As a good example, bleach (sodium hypochlorite solution) can be sold either as a disinfectant or as a cleaning and bleaching agent.

In the first case it would be classified as a biocidal product, but in the second case it would not be considered a biocidal product. The corresponding indications would be given on the hazardous substances label on the packaging or container. Each approved product receives an authorisation number issued by the Swiss Federal Government (CHZxxxxx or CH-20xxxxxx), which must appear on the label.

If a hypochlorite product is intended to be used for disinfecting bathing water, that product must be approved by the authorities as a biocide and labelled accordingly. If a hypochlorite product is only declared as a bleaching agent, that product may not be used as a disinfectant in swimming pools. 

We hope this explanation helps to clear up the matter.

biocides in pools

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