Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

An answer to the perennial question: Is it safe to pee in the pool?

Date:
March 26, 2014
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Sanitary-minded pool-goers who preach 'no peeing in the pool,' despite ordinary and Olympic swimmers admitting to the practice, now have scientific evidence to back up their concern. Researchers are reporting that when mixed, urine and chlorine can form substances that can cause potential health problems.

Sanitary-minded pool-goers who preach "no peeing in the pool," despite ordinary and Olympic swimmers admitting to the practice, now have scientific evidence to back up their concern.
Credit: erwinova / Fotolia

Sanitary-minded pool-goers who preach "no peeing in the pool," despite ordinary and Olympic swimmers admitting to the practice, now have scientific evidence to back up their concern. Researchers are reporting that when mixed, urine and chlorine can form substances that can cause potential health problems. Their study appears in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Related Articles


Jing Li, Ernest Blatchley, III, and colleagues note that adding chlorine to pool water is the most common way to kill disease-causing microbes and prevent swimmers from getting sick. But as people swim, splash, play -- and pee -- in the pool, chlorine mixes with sweat and urine and makes other substances. Two of these compounds, including trichloramine (NCl3) and cyanogen chloride (CNCl), are ubiquitous in swimming pools. The first one is associated with lung problems, and the second one can also affect the lungs, as well as the heart and central nervous system. But scientists have not yet identified all of the specific ingredients in sweat and urine that could cause these potentially harmful compounds to form. So Li's team looked at how chlorine interacts with uric acid, a component of sweat and urine.

They mixed uric acid and chlorine, and within an hour, both NCl3 and CNCl formed. Though some uric acid comes from sweat, the scientists calculated that more than 90 percent of the compound in pools comes from urine. They conclude that swimmers can improve pool conditions by simply urinating where they're supposed to -- in the bathrooms.

The authors acknowledge funding from the Chinese Universities Scientific Fund, the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the National Swimming Pool Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lushi Lian, Yue E, Jing Li, Ernest R. Blatchley. Volatile Disinfection Byproducts Resulting from Chlorination of Uric Acid: Implications for Swimming Pools. Environmental Science & Technology, 2014; 48 (6): 3210 DOI: 10.1021/es405402r

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "An answer to the perennial question: Is it safe to pee in the pool?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140326102723.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2014, March 26). An answer to the perennial question: Is it safe to pee in the pool?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140326102723.htm
American Chemical Society. "An answer to the perennial question: Is it safe to pee in the pool?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140326102723.htm (accessed November 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Says It Will Scale Up Its Ebola Response

UN Says It Will Scale Up Its Ebola Response

AFP (Nov. 20, 2014) UN Resident Coordinator David McLachlan-Karr and WHO representative in the country Daniel Kertesz updated the media on the UN Ebola response on Wednesday. Duration: 00:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Reuters - US Online Video (Nov. 20, 2014) U.S. Congress hears from a victim and company officials as it holds a hearing on the safety of Takata airbags after reports of injuries. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Costs Almost As Much As War And Terrorism

Obesity Costs Almost As Much As War And Terrorism

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) The newest estimate of the cost of obesity is pretty jarring — $2 trillion. But how did researchers get to that number? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Calling All Men: Here's Your Chance to Experience Labor Pains

Calling All Men: Here's Your Chance to Experience Labor Pains

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 20, 2014) Chinese hospital offers men a chance to experience the pain of child birth via electric shocks. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Swimming Pool Urine Combines With Chlorine to Pose Health Risks

Apr. 1, 2014 A new study shows how uric acid in urine generates potentially hazardous 'volatile disinfection byproducts" in swimming pools by interacting with chlorine, and researchers are advising ... read more

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins