A New Jersey public pool was briefly closed after a number of visitors were reportedly sickened by pool chemicals.
The incident occurred on July 17, 2021, at the Maplewood Community Pool outside of Newark and involved numerous parents and their children. Parents took to social media to report seeing a greenish-brownish plume in the main pool accompanied by a strong odor of chlorine.
Several parents reported that they had taken their children to area urgent-care centers and hospital emergency rooms with trouble breathing, vomiting, blue lips, lethargy, and coughing. At least one child was admitted to the hospital overnight.
According to coverage in The Village Green, initially there were conflicting reports as to the identity of the agent responsible for sickening so many. Parents identified it as a chemical exposure — likely chlorine gas — while facility officials claimed it was some type of sediment.
“The jets turned on really high for a minute (which I thought was weird, but didn’t think anything of it),” pool attendant Michael Kirkwood told The Village Green. “Then we smelled the chlorine and the water was turning green / brown. We got out as quickly as we could along with everyone else. Basically, we breathed in the chlorine and then started coughing.”
However, the Maplewood Director of Community Affairs Melissa Mancuso reported on the SOMA Lounge Facebook page, “Today we experienced a mechanical problem that caused a main pool filter issue that has now been resolved. As the system re-started, we saw sediment cloud the main