By Cielestia Calbay
Summer season is 19 days away, and though the hazy skies may
dampen the mood, it won’t be long until it’s time to hit the pools
and the water parks.
But before you strap on your floaties and swim goggles, water
quality and health experts have one message for you: don’t pee in
It may be easy for some to shrug off that sudden surge of warm
water, but the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warns
swimmers that urine in the pool causes a respiratory, ocular
Although urine in the water may not rush swimmers to the
emergency room, it is likely to leave red puffy eyes, a cough or an
itchy throat ” symptoms of the irritation.
To much of swimmers’ dismay, peeing in the pool happens far more
frequently than they think.
A recent nationwide survey of 1,000 adults found that more than
17 percent of Americans admitted to relieving themselves in the
That includes Olympic 14-gold metal winner, Michael Phelps, who
confessed to Jimmy Kimmel in 2008 that he has urinated in the
“If we’re No. 1 in swimming, we must be No. 1 in peeing too,”
said Jamie Strata, a first-year electrical engineering student.
When swimmers sweat or urinate in the water, their bodily fluids
combine with the chlorine and create chloramines, according to the
Often times, indoor swimming pools emit a strong chemical smell
that swimmers often mistake as the effects of chlorine.
The smell comes from the chloramines in sweat and urine, which
causes the eyes and respiratory irritations.
Carla Jackson, health educator at the Wellness Center, says
swimming pools present other health risks in addition to urine in
the water, such as bacteria caused by diarrhea.
Water illnesses can be spread through diarrhea through a
parasite called Cryptosporidium, which has made the list as the
most common causes of waterborne diseases for the past two
“There are many, many organisms found in swimming areas that can
cause health problems,” said Jackson.
“You can also get skin, ear, eye, respiratory and neurologic
Jackson recommends showering before swimming, because most
people have traces of feces on their bottoms, which can contaminate
She also suggests students keep an eye out for signs of
unsanitary swimming areas.
“Look at the pool to make sure it’s clear, that the sides are
smooth and not slimy [and] that no odor is present,” said
Reach Cielestia Calbay at firstname.lastname@example.org
Courtesy of MSNBC.com
Tinkling in pool causes irritation, discomfort
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