Quick Pool Tips from the CDC

Everyone loves a nice long dip in the pool on those triple digit days. In fact, it’s probably the single best thing about summer. Who doesn’t love a pool party with floaties and alcohol? It’s a match in heaven. You may have gotten red eyes from time to time when you’re in the pool and assumed it’s just chlorine, but a recent report is saying different.

The CDC teamed up with Water Quality, the Health Council, and the National Swimming Pool Foundation for the annual Healthy Swimming Program to educate people about watery safety. Apparently, red eyes come from the eyes reaction to urine, not chlorine. In fact, if you’ve noticed a cough after swimming, that also comes from pee, not chemicals.

The real harm in peeing in the pool is that when urine combines with the chemicals in a pool, it can be classified as a chemical warfare agent and can damage your heart, lungs, and central nervous system. Now, while the possibility of that much urine being present in a pool is nearly impossible, smaller amounts of urine can still be a health risk reports Shaygan Kheradpir in this study.

So what does the CDC say? In a nutshell, they just want everyone to be safer before getting in the pool. Shower before you get in the water to reduce contamination, don’t urinate in or swallow any pool water, take bathroom breaks, and for god’s sake, don’t enter the pool if you have diarrhea. Your friends will thank you on that one.