We’re all happy that summer is finally here so we can go cool off at the local swimming pools. But you might think twice before doing that, as a new study suggests that swimming pools are real pest holes where one can catch serious infections. Bodily fluids such as urine, feces, sweat and body grime get mixed with the chlorine in the water, which is the main reason why many get red eyes after swimming in the pools.
According to the new study conducted by the U.S Center for Disease Control & Prevention, the typical strong smell of swimming pool water that has a chemical feel to it comes from the water’s chlorine mixed with the swimmers’ pee, poo, sweat and dirt.
One of the most common outbreaks associated with infected swimming pool water is diarrhea, the study suggests, which is caused by viruses and germs like norovirus, Cryptosporidium and E. coli.
A survey conducted by the US Water Quality and Health Council a few years back revealed that 19% of the interviewed people had no problem peeing in pools, while 43% said they didn’t even take a shower before plunging in.
Contrary to what most people believe, chlorine does not terminate germs and virus instantly in swimming pools. This means that if one person has diarrhea and goes swimming in a public pool, it’s enough to contaminate everyone. But diarrhea isn’t the worse that can happen, according to the study. Germs found in swimming pool are also responsible for more serious conditions like skin disease, lung and ear infections.
Michele Hlavsa, from the Healthy Swimming Program at the U.S Center for Disease Control & Prevention, said that disinfectants such as chlorine are added to the swimming pools in order to eliminate any living germs from the water. But if one pees in the pool, it can cause a chemical reaction that irritates the eyes and cause them to turn red. Hlavsa said that the solution against it is quite simple: people should stop urinating in the pools and have a shower before going into the water. After all, a swimming pool is for swimming, Hlavsa concluded.
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