According to a recent CDC report, chlorine is not the only culprit in turning your eyes bloodshot when swimming in public swimming pools. In fact, chlorine needs human pee to have that effect on our eyes.
Or at least that is the belief of researchers from the US CDC, the National Swimming Pool Foundation and the Water Quality and Health Council which had contributed to the annual Healthy Swimming report.
Researchers explained that chlorine in itself is neutral toward our eyes. The substance needs human urine, sweat and even poop to morph into chloramine, which reddens our yes. According to scientists, chlorine mixes with urine and other body fluids to form chloramine.
“When we go swimming and we complain that our eyes are red, it’s because swimmers have peed in the water,”
argued CDC’s Michele Hlavsa, head of the Healthy Swimming Program.
And when we think about it, about every time we go swimming in a pool we get the red eyes. So imagine how much we urine we splash in public swimming pools. And it is not just you, there are your co-swimmers as well.
Even olympic swimmers had confessed to a whiz in the pool especially after several hours of training. Michael Phelps, the most decorated US Olympic swimmer of all times admitted to it. He said that everyone was doing it so it couldn’t be bad. Especially if chlorine “kills it,” as he put it.
But chlorine doesn’t annihilate urine. Instead it builds poisonous compounds from interaction with urea and uric acid in human pee. The compounds including trichloramine (NCl3) can damage lungs, brain functions and cardiovascular system.
Moreover, chlorine does not kill all bacteria in public pools. For example, a bacterium dubbed Cryptosporidium that can trigger stomach disturbances including diarrhea in humans can survive in chlorinated waters for days.
Additionally, the CDC cautions that recreational water illnesses (RWIs) flourished in the recent years. In the U.S. alone, about 20,000 people were diagnosed with gastrointestinal problems caused by bacteria they had ingested while cooling off in public swimming pools, waterparks and other recreational sites that reportedly use chlorine as disinfectant.
What’s more CDC researchers found that people don’t just pee in swimming pools. They also poop when they have diarrhea. And diarrhea contains germs that can cause diarrhea in other swimmers. In its latest healthy swimming awareness campaign, the CDC urges bathers not to swim when they have diarrhea. So the next CDC message should be to keep your mouth tightly shut when going for a swim.
Image Source: Telegram