Is It Ok To Pee In The Pool
Taking a dip in a pool is a refreshing treat. That is, until the following question inevitably comes to mind: how many people have peed here?
No matter how hard you try not to think about it, it’s tough not to wonder whether you’re swimming in strangers’ urine. And maybe a part of you questions how bad peeing in the pool really is.
One 2019 survey from the Water Quality and Health Council found that 40 percent of Americans surveyed admitted to peeing in the pool as an adult.
The same survey found that 51 percent of those surveyed reported using a swimming pool as a communal bathtub, either swimming as a substitute for showering or using the pool to rinse off after exercise or yard work.
No matter whether you admit to peeing in pools or are staunchly opposed to the idea, the question remains: is peeing in the pool risky or just gross?
Here’s what you need to know.
How Does Chlorine Work In Pools Again
Chlorine is a chemical thats added to pool water to kill germs. When chlorine is added to a pool, it creates a mild acid called hypochlorous acid that kills off a slew of bacteria, including salmonella and E.coli, says Jamie Alan, Pharm.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Michigan State University. Hypochlorous acid can also tackle some viruses.
Chlorine works by damaging bacterial cell walls, which are essential for bacteria survival, Alan explains. Chlorine acts on viruses by damaging proteins and also DNA. Pool chemicals kill most germs within minutes, according to the CDC, but some can live in pools for days.
Don’t Pee In The Pool: Sign Labelled ‘casual Racism’ By Labour Mp
Labour MP Tamati Coffey posted a photo of the sign on Facebook yesterday, seeking details of where it was so he could “speak to the manager”. Photo / Facebook
A public health sign at Auckland swimming pools has been labelled ‘casual racism’ by Labour MP Tamati Coffey.
The sign, which is making the rounds on social media, features a cartoon of a white child telling a coloured child not to pee in the pool.
“Hemi, stop! Make sure you visit the toilet before you swim!” the sign reads.
Coffey posted a photo of the sign on Facebook yesterday, seeking details of where it was so he could “speak to the manager”.
The post has since garnered hundreds of reactions and comments, with many debating whether the sign is racist or a simple health warning to children.
Anybody know which pool this sign lives at? Its been doing the FB rounds. I need to speak to the Manager.
“I am an older female of European descent and I don’t like the sign. I very much doubt a little girl would running around saying this kind of thing to other kids,” one person responded.
“So it is not realistic and horribly drawn. If a sign is really necessary it should be one that reminds everyone to use the toilet before going in the pool.”
Another said, “It’s funny at first glance. But then you realise the racial profiling. And it’s not funny anymore.
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The Cdc Points Out That The Average Swimmer Can Introduce These Microbes And Other Things Into The Pool By Simply Taking A Dip:
- 10 million microbes of hair
- 8 million microbes in a single drop of spit
- 5 million microbes on their hands
- 140 billion microbes of poop
- Billions of microbes on the nose, mouth, and skin
- 1 or 2 soda cans worth of sweat
- 1 cup of pee
Thats a lot for chlorine to tackle, especially if people are purposely peeing in the pool.
Urine Isn’t The Only Culprit
Poop, sweat, dirt, skin cells, and personal care products, such as deodorant and makeup, may also combine with chlorine to make chloramines, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . And there are plenty of other pool dangers too.
Swimmers may inhale or come into contact with chloramines that may cause red or itchy eyes, skin rashes, or irritation.
Even if you’re not taking a dip in the pool, just being in the surrounding area where there are chloramines in the water could cause respiratory symptoms like nasal irritation, coughing, and wheezing, according to the CDC. That’s because chloramines in the water can turn into gas in the surrounding air.
If you think you smell chlorine near the pool, you’re probably actually smelling chloramines. Healthy pools with chlorinated water don’t have strong chemical smells.
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In the new study, researchers mixed uric acid with chlorine in the laboratory. In their worst-case-scenario cocktail of substances mimicking both urine and sweat mixed with high levels of chlorine, the researchers found about 30 micrograms per liter of cyanogen chloride. Thats still well below the World Health Organization guideline of 70 parts per billion as a maximum cyanogen concentration in drinking water.
Again, that was a maximum in the lab, not in real swimming pool water. In an interesting thought experiment, Casey Johnston at Ars Technica calculated how much pee it might take for an Olympic-sized pool to produce cyanogen chloride at a level that would quickly cause coma, convulsions and death: 2,500 parts per billion. Her answer:
In the end, we need a pool that is two parts water to one part chlorine and would probably burn the eyeballs out of your sockets and make your skin peel away from your bones. If you and three million other people could get at this pool and unload your pee into it before your bodies melted, before the crowd crushed you to death, and before you drowned from the massive tidal wave of pee yes, you could feasibly die of cyanogen chloride poisoning.
So Don’t Pee In The Pool
We’ll say it again: don’t pee in the pool.
“It is easy enough to get out of the water and use a proper bathroom and can save yourself and others from uncomfortable and dangerous side effects,” Dr. Sonpal says.
If being considerate doesn’t convince you not to pee in the pool, consider that the average adult swallows a tablespoon of pool water after 45 minutes of swimming, per the CDC. You can fill in the blank here.
So don’t pee in the pool, and don’t swallow the water. Keep pool water clean, and swimming will be a much more enjoyable experience for all.
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So How Bad Is It Really To Pee In The Pool
It depends on what else is lurking in the pool. Urine could alter the chlorine levels so much that one can become sick from a virus, bacteria, or parasite that is left unchecked, Alan says.
When pee interacts with pool water, it also stirs up chemicals that give off that smell people tend to associate with chlorine. Those chemicals make your eyes sting, your nose run, and can cause coughing, Dr. Boling says.
But, while peeing in the pool isnt great or polite, Dr. Boling says that its nothing to panic over. Little kids are going to pee in the poolguarantee it, she says. You shouldnt freak out that it will cause major problems, but you also shouldnt be peeing in the pool, too.
Dr. Conroy offers up this advice: Urinating in a pool is simply a bad habit, he says. While urine itself is generally considered sterile, the chlorine in the pool is there to protect us from other bacteria. Ultimately its best to simply get out of the pool, head to a restroom, and then return to avoid making swimming uncomfortable for themselves and other swimmers.
Why Is Peeing In The Pool A Health Hazard
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Lets break down trichloramines to better understand why peeing in the pool is a hazard to your health.
So weve learned that its bad for chlorine and urine to come into contact with one another but how exactly does this create trichloramine? Well, a major component of urine is known as urea, which is responsible for carrying nitrogen from the human body. When this nitrogen-rich substance in urine contacts chlorine, there is a potent chemical reaction. This releases nitrogen chloride aka trichloramine.
As we mentioned above, trichloramine is a serious health hazard. These are a few of the health problems that it can cause:
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How To Urinate In The Ocean Discreetly
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Sometimes, the closest bathroom at the beach is too far away for you to reach in time. This leaves you little choice but to go right where you are. Beaches are public places and are often filled with people. Luckily, there are ways to go about your business discreetly so that no one will suspect. This article will show you how to do that.
Wont Chemicals Kill Pee
This is a common misconception, and many believe its okay to pee in the pool. But when you think for a moment, it doesnt even make sense.
Yes, chlorine and other pool chemicals will act as disinfectants and kill certain bacteria and algae. But urine isnt a living substance. It cant be killed. When you pee in the pool, the chlorine doesnt make it magically disappear. Its still there, meaning youre now swimming in a mixture of pee and pool water. Thats probably not your goal here.
People often go to public swimming pools or hot tubs and assume that the water is extra clean because of the strong chlorine scent. However, that smell is actually a sign of a significant amount of pee in the water! When you walk into a pool area and get an overpowering chlorine scent, you are actually smelling a gas called trichloramine. This is created by a chemical reaction between chlorine and urine. Trichloramine not only creates a potent odor, but it also is an eye and skin irritant.
So to repeat: Chemicals such as chlorine do not kill off or remove urine from your pool water. Chlorines reaction with urine creates a gas that can be hazardous to your health. And again, if you pee in the pool, youre swimming in urine. Thats a rather gross fact.
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Eye And Skin Irritation
Sensitive tissues, like your eyes and skin, are the first to react to the caustic effects of trichloramines. This issue is so common that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported on it as an occupational hazard among workers at water parks. Common symptoms can include red, watery eyes, a sore nose and throat, and skin rashes. This can occur after coming into contact with pool water, or simply being near enough to a pool to experience trichloramine gas exposure.
Pee In Pool Quick Answers:
Have you ever peed in a swimming pool? Come on, be honest. Were not pointing fingers, but we know theres a fair chance you have. There is data out there that even Olympic swimmers are guilty of peeing in the pool.
But heres the thing: Peeing in the pool is just as easily avoidable as it is unsanitary. You really, honestly, seriously shouldnt do it whether youre in a residential pool, public pool, or your backyard pool at home. Read on to learn why its bad to pee in outdoor and indoor pools and get some preventive tips to keep pee out of your pool.
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So How Gross Is It To Pee In A Pool
Pretty gross, friends.
When urine enters pool water, the chlorine in the pool acts as a disinfectant and kills the waste. But this leaves less chlorine in the pool to rid the water of other bacteria and germs, according to Dr. Sonpal.
That means that not only is there pee in the pool, but peeing in the pool degrades the chlorine’s ability to fight other germs.
“Since pee is waste that is removed from the body, it is not a good idea to be swimming in any water that contains it,” he says. “Pool water can easily enter the nose or the mouth of people, especially children, and should be kept clean and bacteria free as much as possible.”
That’s right: the pool can actually make you sick.
That’s because studies have found that certain components of pee can chemically react with the chlorine and create chloramines, disinfectants that are toxic to humans and can cause irritation of the eyes, skin, and air passages, he says.
Research on the impact of swimming in chlorinated pools in the journal Pediatrics looked at 847 people between 13 and 18 years old who swam either in chlorinated or non-chlorinated pools. They found that chlorinated pool exposure contributed to asthma, hay fever, and allergic rhinitis in the swimmers.
Swimming Pool Safety: Dont Pee In The Pool
You might be surprised at how many people ignore that sign that says, Do Not Urinate in the Swimming Pool. Swimming is a healthful and fun activity that many people enjoy, but a few tips can make swimming safer and healthier for everyone.
While many people might be aware that it is considered bad manners to urinate in a swimming pool, kids and competitive swimmers alike may not always follow this rule. In fact, during the 2012 Summer Olympics, several athletes made headlines by admitting that this frequently happens. While this may seem merely unappealing, a 2014 study suggested that urine can actually combine with the chlorine disinfectant in swimming pool water to make potentially harmful chemicals. The researchers recommend that all swimmers avoid urinating in swimming pools to prevent these chemicals from forming.
The study found that a chemical in urine and sweat, called uric acid, undergoes a chemical reaction with chlorine to produce two substances cyanogen chloride and trichloramine. These substances can be inhaled by swimmers, especially those who swim indoors. While its not clear if swimmers exposed to these chemicals are likely to develop health problems, one study found that teenagers who swim in chlorinated pools have a higher risk of getting asthma or hay fever. Another study found signs of lung irritation in children who swam frequently, but not in children who didnt.
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