Sunday, April 13, 2014

Don’t Breathe Swimming Pool Air

As if I don’t have enough to worry about these days, I learned about another one recently. 

Swimming pool gas. 

No, I don’t mean the bubbles kids create when they fart in the pool. As disgusting (or funny, depending on your point of view) as that is, it’s really not harmful. Unless you smell it and faint and drown, but that’s another story. 

I’m talking about peeing in the pool. China Agricultural University and Purdue University scholars studied the effect that uric acid has on the chlorine used to disinfect the water in swimming pools. 

As it turns out, they’re nasty partners. 

For one thing, they combine to form cyanogen chloride. This nasty gas can hard your central nervous system, your heart, and your lungs if you inhale it. 

For another thing, uric acid also is instrumental in the formation of poisonous nitrogen tricholramine gas, responsible for acute lung infection. And it builds up fast. In fact, the researchers studied a national swimming competition and found the trichloramine levels doubled after one day. 

Which begs the question … Do racing swimmers pee that much in the pool during competition? 

Additional info: This may gross you out, but more than half of the public pools tested in a study had bacterial evidence that somebody pooped (yep, I said pooped, not peed) in the pool. 

I kid you not!

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