You Really Shouldn't Be Peeing in the Pool, It Could Be Dangerous
Look, there's no need to point fingers. Almost everyone pees in the pool. Just ask Michael Phelps. "It's kind of a normal thing to do for swimmers," the 22-time Olympic gold medalist said. "When we're in the pool for two hours, we don't really get out to pee. We just go whenever we are on the wall."
He also added, "Chlorine kills it, so it's not bad." At least he didn't say pee is sterile because that's a persistent and untrue myth.
There are some misconceptions about peeing in the pool and SciShow has attempted to dispel them in a new video highlighting the chemical reaction that takes place between your urine and the chemicals in the pool.
When pee reacts with chlorine, chloramines are formed and released as a gas. Chlorine is usually blamed for that familiar "pool smell," but that's actually the smell of chloramines. They can corrode metal and are an irritant to humans. (Dead skin cells cause the same reaction in a pool, so shower up, as well.) Chloramines cause red eyes, rashes, skin irritation, respiratory issues, and asthma attacks. It's those last two that are most concerning.
A lot of research is left to be done, but it's believed that the irritating gas might be a reason swimmers experience asthma at a higher rate than the rest of the population.
No, peeing in the pool won't kill you. But do you need certain death as a reason not to want to swim in other people's pee? Watch SciShow's video above for all the details on why you should stop using the public pool as a public latrine.
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