Stop Peeing In Pools, Scientists Say

Not only is peeing in the swimming pool antisocial, it could also harm your health, according to a study.

AsianScientist (Mar. 17, 2014) – For those of you who are guilty of peeing in swimming pools, this research study may cause you to reconsider your ‘harmless’ habit.

Scientists from China Agricultural University and Purdue University have found that uric acid in urine interacts with the disinfectants in swimming pools to produce harmful chemicals.

The study, published in Environmental Science and Technology, showed that uric acid becomes chlorinated and acts as a precursor to the formation of the toxic gases cyanogen chloride (CNCl) and trichloramine (NCl3).

At high concentrations, CNCl is known to cause immediate injury to the eyes and respiratory system upon contact, and longer term problems in the central nervous system and heart. NCl3 has been linked to chronic health problems in adults and asthma in children.

In the article, the authors noted that since urination is under the voluntary control of swimmers, improved hygiene habits are essential to keep swimming pool water safe.

The article can be found at: Lian et al. (2014) Volatile Disinfection Byproducts Resulting from Chlorination of Uric Acid: Implications for Swimming Pools.


Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: tano_d’ere/Flickr/CC.

Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Rebecca did her PhD at the National University of Singapore where she studied how macrophages integrate multiple signals from the toll-like receptor system. She was formerly the editor-in-chief of Asian Scientist Magazine.

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