Michael Phelps has won more gold medals than any swimmer in the history of the Olympic Games. But you may not want to imitate some of his habits or even invite him to your home for a pool party. During an interview, Phelps admitted to the disgusting habit of occasionally urinating in the pool. Phelps’s defended his actions by saying, “chlorine kills it, so it’s not that bad.” But Phelps isn’t alone. According to the Huffington Post, a survey revealed nearly 100 percent of competitive swimmers pee in the pool. Some have admitted to doing it regularly. While Phelps may be an expert on swimming, he may not be the most knowledgeable person when it comes to pool maintenance.
A new study from the journal Environment Science & Technology revealed urine in the pool is not only unsanitary, it can also be harmful to our health. Instead of killing urine, the blending of chlorine and urine can create dangerous byproducts including cyanogen chloride (CNCI) and trichloramine (NCl3). These toxic compounds can cause damage to your lungs, heart and central nervous system.
Most people use common sense when going into the water. If you visit most public pools, you will see placards which encourage swimmers to maintain proper hygiene. Unfortunately, many in the competitive swimming community have held on to the myth of urination as an acceptable practice. This is simply not true and the long-term consequences could be severe. But competitive swimmers aren’t the only people who engage in this bad habit. A survey by the Water and Health Council showed one in five people admit to having urinated in a swimming pool. But proper hygiene goes beyond urination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have long encouraged swimmers to shower before entering the water. This helps prevent the risk of transferring disease or developing skin irritations.
Many people often blame chlorine for creating a chemical smell, burning eyes and itchy skin. But the real problem is contaminants added to the water. While you can’t always control what other people do in your pool, you do have control in keeping it clean and well maintained. All Florida Pool & Spa Center in Miami has a great selection of pool cleaners as well as salt water chlorine generators. As a pool owner, keeping your water clean should always be your first priority. A clean and safe pool provides you and your family with the most enjoyable pool experience.