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Hot Tub Rash From Shock


Lash4013
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Though it is possible that there is an allergic reaction to the potassium monopersulfate (aka peroxymonosulfate), it may be from the potassium persulfate (aka peroxydisulfate) which is also present at around 2% concentration and is a known irritant. In the Nature2 system, the silver ions react with the persulfate so may make the Nature2 + MPS system not as irritating. Did you have silver ions in your spa?

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The facts are this. I have used my Hot Tub for a year and a half with no issues... I changed to spa pure shock from Home Depot and developed a severe skin reaction to the chemical. I have discovered several cases on the Internet of the skin allegery. The Medical article I attached to my previous link has also confirmed the allergy... specifically in men. The active chemical accused of the allergy is potassium monopersulfate... which is the main ingredient in the SPA PURE spa shock. I dont care about silver ions, or diamond nodes... or any other type of chemically induced reaction that hot tubs are capable of... I was a certified swimming/water safety instructor and I have spent innummerable hours in pools, lakes, hot tubs, etc... this is the first time I have EVER had a reaction. So my recommendation... stick to chlorine, or bromine, and use chlorine to shock.

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OK I understand that, but the reason I was asking was that just because the article you referred to correlated skin problems with the use of non-chlorine shock does not mean the irritant is potassium monopersulfate itself. Non-chlorine shock is not just potassium monopersulfate (see this MSDS). It is a triple salt of potassium sulfate, potassium bisulfate and potassium monopersulfate (peroxymonosulfate) plus minor contaminants including potassium persulfate (peroxydisulfate) and that is a known irritant. From your perspective, it doesn't really matter which particular chemical in non-chlorine shock is the culprit, but I would like to be more specific because the use of silver ions breaks down the potassium persulfate so would be an alternative for people who wanted to not use chlorine (e.g. the Nature2 system that uses silver ions and MPS).

I'm pretty sure that the determination of allergies to PPMS was done using non-chlorine shock (e.g. Oxone) and not using PURE PPMS. Even the references they gave referred to potassium persulfate which is NOT the same as PPMS and gets broken down in the presence of silver ions. The references in the article you linked to showed the following:

1. Kagen HH, Wolf J, Scheman A, Nedorost S. Potassium peroxymonosulfate-induced contact dermatitis. Contact Dermatitis. 2004;51:8990. [PubMed]

2. Estrada Rodriguez JL, Gozalo Reques F, Cechini Fernandez C, Rodriguez Prieto MA. Contact urticaria to potassium persulfate. Contact Dermatitis. 2001;45:177. [PubMed]

3. Veien N, Hattel T, Laurberg G. Contact dermatitis due to potassium persulfate. Contact Dermatitis. 2001;45:176. [PubMed]

4. Yankura JA, Marks JG, Jr, Anderson BE, Adams D. Spa contact dermatitis. Dermatitis. 2008;19:100101. [PubMed]

5. Wallengren J, Bergendorff O. Potassium peroxymonosuflate-induced dermatitis in a sheep farmer. Contact Dermatitis. 1999;41:299300. [PubMed]

Note how references 2 and 3 refer specifically to potassium persulfate, not to potassium monopersulfate (peroxymonosulfate). Unfortunately, people often lump all of these chemicals together, but they behave differently.

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I've been on this forum since I got my hot tub about a year and a month ago. I had the SAME rash. We switched to the bleach system advocated here and it not only has been much cheaper. I havent had ANY of that rash except for recently on the back of my legs (to be fair I was in the hot tub 2 hours one day and the next an hour and a half. (I brought my tablet in and was reading magazine articles)

I laid off for 3 days the rash went away.

The itchiness i just had was VERY different than the rash I had when we were using MPS and nature2. That was bumps and it hasnt come back since.

Bleach and the big teasting kit. I am another huge advocate of that system. 1 year and loving it.

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Just finished the medical treatment (steroids, and betacream) to eliminate the reaction caused by an allergy to non chlorine shock which includes as the main ingredient potassium monopersulfate. The rash is still not 100% gone, but about 98%, as there is still some slight redness in the most affected areas. When I nailed down the pur spa non chlorine shock as the culprit, I drained the tub, and refilled, adding only bromine tablets in a floater, and chlorine granuals (dichlor). 2 nights ago, while the reminant rash was still more visible and I had finished the steroids, I shocked the water with dichlor then I went back into the hot tub for a 45 minute test run...The bromine/chlorine levels were high from the chlorine shock, but with the shock chemical (oxidizer) absent, no rash, and no itchyness. Case solved.

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  • 8 years later...

New hot tub owner (male) - advised to use non-chlorine shock once a week. Developed awful itchy rash on my back despite chemical balance being consistently correct. Interestingly, my wife did not develop any reaction. Read about the PPMS potential for allergy so drained, cleaned and flushed the tub etc. Now only using chlorine shock in minimal doses as winter use of tub is minimal. NO RASH!

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  • 1 month later...

We have had our hot tub for a month. The first 2-2 1/2 weeks there was no problems except for balancing. We farm and ranch so we put in long physical days. We sit in our tub at least 3 hours nightly, sometimes with friends. The people that set up the tub told us to check the levels once a week and treat once a week. That obviously would not work and I found that out the hard way. I'm a freak about researching things so I went to work and figured it out on my own. In the process I found chemicals that was a better quality than what came with my package deal so I ordered those and started transitioning to those. Well all hell broke lose for my husband. At about 3 weeks I had changed to the new chlorine and was using the non chlorine shock off and on. He got "the" rash. It wasn't to bad at first, just treated it with cortisone cream. About half way through the forth week, after I had started using the new brand of chlorine and shock solely, he woke up with a swollen face, eyes and his cheeks were hard to the touch, not to mention his whole body was covered in hives! He started his treatment yesterday and is responding well. Back to my obsessive research. At first I thought it was the chlorine, had to be, right? I researched for hours. I had to because my husband has wanted a hot tub for 10 years and I always said no because I didn't want to take care of it, but after sitting in it, I was hooked! So I went to the store and asked the guy if the two chlorine's I was using had the same ingredients in them. We checked the labels and yes they were the same. So then I asked about the shock and he said yes they were the same, until he read the label. The shock I started with was Spa Ease Oxy Blast and is sodium peroxydisulfate, it's more like peroxide. The shock I had switched to 3/4 of the way through had potassium peroxymonosulfate. The timing of use of these ingredients pretty much has me convinced it was the potassium. I got the Oxy Blast and started using it again. It will be a few more days before he can sit in it again but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he was allergic to just the potassium in the one shock.

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