Exceeding Recommended Standards for Safe Hot Tub Use

Robert W. Galbreath, William Reger, Thomas Allison, Kim Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The purpose of this investigation was to test the safety of exceeding three of the National Spa and Pool Association's hot tub guidelines. The guidelines tested were: (a) a 15 minute immersion limit; (b) a maximum temperature of 40°C; and (c) abstinence from alcohol. Fourteen healthy males participated in four 24 minute trials of 40°C and 41.5°C water immersion after drinking a placebo or a drink containing 0.54 g of alcohol kg-1 of body weight (approximate BAC of 0.08 g dL-1). The primary danger exhibited during testing was systolic blood pressures upon standing to exit the hot tub of 68.1 to 78.6 mm Hg for the 41.5°C/alcohol and 40°C/placebo trials, respectively. Alcohol consumption, at the levels tested, did not appear to increase the dangers associated with hot tub use by the healthy subjects. These results may not apply for higher temperatures, higher alcohol levels, older persons, those with special medical conditions, or women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-15
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Safety Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999


  • Alcohol and hot tubs
  • Hot tub
  • Hot tub immersion limit
  • Hot tub maximum temperature
  • Hot tub safety standards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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