Peeing in the Pool May Actually Be Bad for You
Study finds urine, chlorine create dangerous chemical byproducts
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2014 2:10 PM CDT
Updated Mar 15, 2014 12:30 PM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Peeing in the pool: gross, sure, but no real harm done? Think again. Researchers at Purdue and China Agricultural universities recently studied what happens when urine meets water containing chlorine and other chemicals—and they found that two potentially dangerous chemical byproducts are formed, Discover reports. The uric acid in urine reacts with the chlorine to form cyanogen chloride and thrichloramine, which can affect the lungs, heart, central nervous system, and other organs if inhaled. io9 reports that the researchers also dosed water already containing those compounds with more uric acid, and found the cyanogen chloride level rose as a result.

Per the study, "Uric acid ... accounted for 24% to 68% (depending on temperature, water pH and chlorine condition) of the byproduct cyanogen chloride in the pool water samples." Both chemicals have been linked to health problems experienced by swimmers, lifeguards, and pool staff, reports Quartz, which points to a 2012 survey that found 19% of adults cop to having peed in a public pool. If you don't count yourself among the group of offenders, you may be contributing to the problem anyway: Philly.com cites previous studies that suggest swimmers typically "drip out" as much as two shot glasses of urine when swimming. (On the flip side, read about the group that thinks cow urine is a miracle cure.)

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Turns Out Peeing in the Pool May Actually Be Bad for You is...
16%
13%
5%
3%
49%
14%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 64 comments
Dolbylandfill
Mar 20, 2014 6:07 PM CDT
Put some candiru fish in there ...
Marenelli
Mar 16, 2014 9:12 AM CDT
You mean someone thought that peeing in a pool was actually good for you?
Reader55549798
Mar 12, 2014 12:05 PM CDT
I wonder if the same reactions happen to brominated pools?