We’ve all taken a dip in the pool and come up for air rubbing our eyes. Everyone tells you it’s the because of the chlorine, but the CDC says that’s not true. So, what’s really causing the irritation? Pee. (Cue the gagging noises.)
Women’s Health says chlorine actually binds with all the things it’s trying to kill from your body, creating chemical irritants.
“That’s what’s stinging your eyes,” Michael J. Beach, Ph.D., associate director of the CDC’s Healthy Water program, told the magazine. “It’s the chlorine binding to the urine and the sweat.”
Well, you can just count on the dye that turns the water a different color when someone pees in it, right? Wrong.
“That dye is a complete myth,” Beach said. “It’s about scaring people into not urinating in the pool.”
Hold onto your bikinis because that’s not the only gross thing happening in pools. Beach said there’s been an uptick in disease outbreaks, since people come to take a dip when they have diarrhea. It’s actually contributed to a new parasitic germ that’s immune to chlorine!
It’s not just the peeing and poop that make a pool the perfect habitat for germs. Beach says the germs on anyone’s body can contribute to the mix, so it’s best to shower before you go for a swim in a pool.
Before you cancel all your pool plans and head to the lake or ocean instead, there’s more bad news.
“If you’re swimming next to someone who has diarrhea, there’s no protection,” says Beach.
He cited a norovirus outbreak in Oregon that started when someone “swam in (and had diarrhea or vomited in) the lake.”
Now, don’t hang up your bikinis so soon. Just make sure to shower before heading to the pool and go to the restroom when you have to pee. Tell your friends to do the same and we can all be safer during our summer swims.