Last updated: 01:21 PM ET, Thu June 25 2015

CDC: It's Pee In The Pool That Make's Your Eyes Red

Features & Advice | Tom Bastek | June 25, 2015

CDC: It's Pee In The Pool That Make's Your Eyes Red

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Just in time for your swimming fun in the sun vacation, the Centers for Disease Control is here to make you say, “ick.”  A Women’s Health article this month has confirmed what we all already know; most of you are peeing in the pool.

According to the article, “The CDC has teamed up with the Water Quality and Health Council and the National Swimming Pool Foundation for their annual Healthy Swimming Program.”  This is an effort to educate the public about the possible dangers of pools and what you can do be as healthy as possible.

Red Eye, Aye

The CDC tells us that even though for the last 40 years we have thought that chlorine was the culprit of making our eyes red that it is actually not. 

“It’s quite the opposite,” says Michael J. Beach, Ph.D., associate director of the CDC’s Healthy Water program. “Chlorine binds with all the things it’s trying to kill from your bodies, and it forms these chemical irritants. That’s what’s stinging your eyes. It’s the chlorine binding to the urine and the sweat.” 

Even better, you know that cough you get after swimming in an indoor pool?  That is lung irritation from the exact same chemical reaction in the air.  Wow, breathing sweat and urine.  I don’t think I am ever swimming indoors again.

Disease, Please

There has also been an uptick in disease being spread through pools thanks to people swimming while they are sick or around sick people.  That is why you should shower off before you get into the pool.  You may think that your germs are not enough to get anyone sick, but if you think about everyone else, it all leads up to, “bleh.” 

The advice here is don’t swim if you are sick, even if you have a quick bout of diarrhea or vomiting, because those germs can spread sickness.  If you have open wounds, you are more likely to contract a virus from swimming, so you may want to forgo.  And lakes and oceans aren’t any safer; if you are swimming in the vicinity of anyone who is sick, you have a chance of contracting it.

For the record, while we are getting all the real info out to the public, there are no magic dyes that appear when people pee in the pool, and you aren’t going to get sick if you swim less than 30 minutes after you eat. Enough said. 

Where was the Internet when I was 10 years old?  I lost so much swim time after lunch everyday.


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