Photo credit: One of these kids has just peed in the pool. MaszaS/shutterstock
Almost all of us are aware of the fact that chlorine is added to the water in a swimming pool to disinfect it. The bacteria Escherichia coli mingles into the water from our body and contaminates it, thus adding chlorine helps to kill the bacteria. However, once we enter the pool, we experience some sort of irritation in our eyes and we blame it on to the chemical. A recent study conducted by the ‘Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’ (CDC) has brought out some startling facts which will not make us feel the same about swimming anymore.
It is true that chlorine is capable of killing some micro-organisms in the water, but there are others which are too adamant to be destroyed. The study says that the red itchy eyes we have after a dive in the pool is not because of the chemical but urine. Sounds filthy, I know, but, this is what the report by CDC says. Dr. Michael Beach, Associate Professor of CDC, was quoted saying, “Chlorine binds with all the things it’s trying to kill from your bodies, and it forms these chemical irritants. That’s what’s stinging your eyes. It’s the chlorine binding to the urine and sweat.”
The research also says that the bacteria causing diarrhea is too strong and cannot be destroyed by chlorine, rather, these bacteria combine with the compound and cause harm to us. The report says that swimming in public pools can actually cause diarrhea if it is used by a person suffering from the illness. They need not actually, pee or poop in the water to spread disease, but they carry germs along with them when they are infected.
It is advisable to take a shower before entering into the swimming pool to avoid contaminating the water and keeping it safe for all.