Peeing in the Pool is Gross and May Be Bad For You

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    Mar 07, 2014 3:26 PM GMT
    http://gizmodo.com/peeing-in-the-pool-is-gross-and-may-actually-be-bad-for-1537991045/

    Peeing in swimming pools may be hazardous to your health. That's the message from scientists who have found that compounds in urine mix with chlorine to form chemicals that have been linked to respiratory effects in swimmers.

    "If swimmers avoided urinating in pools, then air and water quality would likely improve independent of other changes in water treatment or air circulation," the scientists from China Agricultural University and Purdue University wrote in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

    Researchers in recent years have been trying to determine whether breathing disinfection byproducts in the air at indoor pools can lead to asthma or other respiratory problems.

    In a series of laboratory experiments, the scientists combined water collected from swimming pools in China with mixtures meant to mimic the chemical composition of sweat and urine. Chlorine, used to disinfect pools, reacts with a number of chemicals found in human sweat and urine.

    Uric acid, found in urine, accounted for 24 to 68 percent (depending on temperature, water pH and chlorine condition) of the byproduct cyanogen chloride in the pool water samples. Cyanogen chloride can affect multiple organs, including the lungs, heart, and central nervous system via inhalation.

    This is the first time uric acid has been identified as a major cyanogen chloride precursor in swimming pools, the researchers noted. Roughly 93 percent of uric acid in swimming pools comes from human urine. Sweat also contributes a small amount.
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    Mar 07, 2014 7:22 PM GMT
    riddler78 saidhttp://gizmodo.com/peeing-in-the-pool-is-gross-and-may-actually-be-bad-for-1537991045/
    Peeing in swimming pools may be hazardous to your health.

    Not nearly as hazardous as peeing in South American rivers, where the tiny but deadly candirĂº fish will be attracted to your urine and swim up your penis. Within less than a second it penetrates the urethral opening and wriggles its way into place, erecting an umbrella-like array of spines to secure its position. And that really hurts.

    http://www.damninteresting.com/the-terrifying-toothpick-fish/
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    Mar 07, 2014 7:24 PM GMT
    HikerSkier said
    riddler78 saidhttp://gizmodo.com/peeing-in-the-pool-is-gross-and-may-actually-be-bad-for-1537991045/
    Peeing in swimming pools may be hazardous to your health.

    Not nearly as hazardous as peeing in South American rivers, where the tiny but deadly candirĂº fish will be attracted to your urine and swim up your penis. Within less than a second it penetrates the urethral opening and wriggles its way into place, erecting an umbrella-like array of spines to secure its position. And that really hurts.


    A new tool for the S/M crowd?
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    Mar 07, 2014 7:39 PM GMT
    paz_the_gnome saiddoes it really matter though. the chlorine in the water alone already makes swimming in a pool a health risk.

    How is the presence of chlorine (in the concentrations found in pubic swimming pools) a health risk? Which is worse, a pool containing a small amount of chlorine, or a pool loaded with other people's pathogenic bacteria and viruses?
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    Mar 07, 2014 7:48 PM GMT
    Maybe there should be a chemical in the pool water that turns blood red in contact with urine. Pee in the pool and the water around you looks like you're bleeding to death. Thus identified you can be shamed, ejected, and maybe fined. Afterwards the red dye inactivates, to prevent the entire pool from becoming red over time.
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    Mar 07, 2014 8:10 PM GMT
    paz_the_gnome said
    Puppenjunge said
    paz_the_gnome saiddoes it really matter though. the chlorine in the water alone already makes swimming in a pool a health risk.

    How is the presence of chlorine (in the concentrations found in pubic swimming pools) a health risk? Which is worse, a pool containing a small amount of chlorine, or a pool loaded with other people's pathogenic bacteria and viruses?


    does it really matter though on which is worse. pathogens are bad and so is chlorine. we're talking about a chemical that was used as a weapon in world war 1 here. then again, it really doesn't make a difference being how it's used to treat the water that we wash ourselves with and the tap your ass water that comes out of the sink.


    Chlorine isn't so bad - the gas used in WWI was pure chlorine but the free choline in treated water is a few parts per million, and the choline that does not combine with organic compounds in the water evaporates out of the water. (These days most american municipal water agencies add a chlor-amine to water instead of pure chlorine or sodium hypochlorite (bleach).)

    The CDC seems to think adding chlorine to water is safe:
    http://www.cdc.gov/safewater/chlorine-residual-testing.html

    Better than getting cholera, typhoid, polio, or those wonderful intestinal parasites that used to be found only in gay men.
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    Mar 07, 2014 8:16 PM GMT
    ART_DECO saidMaybe there should be a chemical in the pool water that turns blood red in contact with urine. Pee in the pool and the water around you looks like you're bleeding to death. Thus identified you can be shamed, ejected, and maybe fined. Afterwards the red dye dissipates, to prevent the entire pool from becoming red over time.
    I can tell you now that's a horrible idea. Almost all facilities require the pool be cleared if we even think there's blood in there. If anything, it should just be a very dark blue.
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    Mar 07, 2014 8:20 PM GMT
    Trolliosis said
    ART_DECO saidMaybe there should be a chemical in the pool water that turns blood red in contact with urine. Pee in the pool and the water around you looks like you're bleeding to death. Thus identified you can be shamed, ejected, and maybe fined. Afterwards the red dye dissipates, to prevent the entire pool from becoming red over time.
    I can tell you now that's a horrible idea. Almost all facilities require the pool be cleared if we even think there's blood in there. If anything, it should just be a very dark blue.

    OK, blue or green then. That glows under blacklight. icon_twisted.gif
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    Mar 08, 2014 8:30 AM GMT
    Actually, there is a chemical reaction between pee and the chlorine in some pools that produces chlorate and nitrate. The exact conditions aren't really well-studied, but I've had some Soccer Mom's sending me samples form S. CA High School pools that are off the charts for chlorate. It seems to be inducing asthma-like symptoms and cyanosis in some kids. They're pulling their kids out of water polo over it. (Although I'm not sure that water polo training might not induce some of the "extreme fatigue" symptoms in itself.)

    I have absolutely no evidence for it, but I'm entertaining the hypothesis that kids at some schools might get acclimated for it (or only kids that can tolerate it can stay on the team.) Visiting teams get poisoned after 20 minutes ---> automatic state champs! So for them, peeing in the pool might be a distinct advantage. Sorta like football teams with high-altitude fields.
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    Mar 08, 2014 8:50 AM GMT
    mindgarden saidActually, there is a chemical reaction between pee and the chlorine in some pools that produces chlorate and nitrate. The exact conditions aren't really well-studied, but I've had some Soccer Mom's sending me samples form S. CA High School pools that are off the charts for chlorate. It seems to be inducing asthma-like symptoms and cyanosis in some kids. They're pulling their kids out of water polo over it. (Although I'm not sure that water polo training might not induce some of the "extreme fatigue" symptoms in itself.)

    I have absolutely no evidence for it, but I'm entertaining the hypothesis that kids at some schools might get acclimated for it (or only kids that can tolerate it can stay on the team.) Visiting teams get poisoned after 20 minutes ---> automatic state champs! So for them, peeing in the pool might be a distinct advantage. Sorta like football teams with high-altitude fields.
    Who knew one could be into both variants of the term "water sports?"
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14296

    Mar 08, 2014 4:15 PM GMT
    Pissing in a swimming pool is not only a potential health hazard it is also very disgustingicon_mad.gif
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    Mar 08, 2014 7:26 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob saidPissing in a swimming pool is not only a potential health hazard it is also very disgustingicon_mad.gif

    It's a reason I avoid pools that children use. But I'm reading that even adults piss in the water. I think I'll stick to the ocean and fresh water, even if, as WC Fields remarked: "Fish fuck in it". (Explaining why he avoided water in favor of straight booze)

    BTW, when you notice a heavy chlorine smell at a pool, the assumption is that too much chemical has been added. The reality is that it's more likely there's been a lot of pissing in it, causing the chemical reaction that produces a form of chlorine gas your nose smells. icon_razz.gif
  • ThatSwimmerGu...

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    Mar 08, 2014 7:27 PM GMT
    lol... High School swim coach.
    Me:*runs towards bathroom*
    Coach: "What the fuck are you doing"
    Me: "Restroom to pee"
    Coach "Thats why the chlorine is for!"
    So.... yeah.
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    Mar 08, 2014 7:28 PM GMT
    ThatSwimmerGuy saidlol... High School swim coach.
    Me:*runs towards bathroom*
    Coach: "What the fuck are you doing"
    Me: "Restroom to pee"
    Coach "Thats why the chlorine is for!"
    So.... yeah.

    A COACH said that??? icon_eek.gif
  • ThatSwimmerGu...

    Posts: 3755

    Mar 08, 2014 7:32 PM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    ThatSwimmerGuy saidlol... High School swim coach.
    Me:*runs towards bathroom*
    Coach: "What the fuck are you doing"
    Me: "Restroom to pee"
    Coach "Thats why the chlorine is for!"
    So.... yeah.

    A COACH said that??? icon_eek.gif

    It is very normal for swim coaches to say that. They are serious too. Puke? That is what the gutter is for.
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    Mar 08, 2014 9:04 PM GMT
    Some of this stuff is hard to evaluate because different by-products end up accumulating in different pools, even though they are allegedly managed in the same way. It's not entirely clear why that is. That ES&T paper seems to be a good way to start approaching the problem. Not a real sexy research topic though. You'd have to lie at parties when people ask what you do for a living. (Been there, done that.)
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    Mar 17, 2014 3:54 AM GMT
    Back in college my teammates and I would pee on each other all the time during practice. Sometimes someone would have really golden-orange pee from drinking some high energy drink before practice or something and we'd all swim over to their lane and watch it. icon_biggrin.gif

    I also had a swim meet delayed by a few hours once because so many people were peeing in the pool that the chlorine levels were being thrown off. When you've got skin-tight suits on that costs hundreds of dollars, there's no way in hell you're taking that off to go to the bathroom because it's never coming back on.

    Honestly I'd rather deal with urine in the water than globs of snot floating around... Those always make me gag. icon_sad.gif