The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Water Quality and Health Council and the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) have launched a campaign to stop people from ‘peeing in the pool’, while also busting a couple of colourful myths associated with the anti-social activity.
According to a new survey conducted by Survata on behalf of the Water Quality and Health Council, nearly half of Americans surveyed incorrectly believe that there is a chemical that is added to pools that turns a conspicuous colour in the presence of urine. In the same survey, 71% also incorrectly blame chlorine for causing swimmers’ eyes to become red and irritated.
“Chlorine and other disinfectants are added to a swimming pool to destroy germs,” said Michele Hlavsa, chief of CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program. “Peeing in a pool depletes chlorine and actually produces an irritant that makes people’s eyes turn red. The solution isn’t rocket science: it’s common courtesy. Swimmers should use the pool to swim, the restroom to pee and the showers to wash up before getting in the pool. It’s that simple.”
NSPF CEO Thomas M. Lachocki adds: “There isn’t a dye that turns red. It’s the eyes that turn red. Swimmers’ eyes are the real colour indicator that someone might have peed in a pool.”
Chris Wiant, Chair of the Water Quality and Health Council, also adds. “That ‘chlorine’ smell at the pool isn’t actually chlorine. What you smell are chemicals that form when chlorine mixes with pee, sweat and dirt from swimmers’ bodies. These chemicals – not chlorine – can cause your eyes to become red and sting, make your nose run and make you cough.”
The CDC and the American Chemistry Council have collaborated on a brochure that includes key messages about healthy swimming, which include showering before swimming and not peeing in a pool.
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