LIFESTYLE

Why Peeing In The Swimming Pool May Be Bad For Your Health

27/03/2014 11:34 GMT | Updated 27/03/2014 16:59 GMT

Finally the answer to that burning question: is it OK to pee in the swimming pool?

Well, besides the fact that it is completely and utterly disgusting, taking a leak in the swimming pool may also be harmful to your health.

According to researchers, mixing urine and chlorine can form potentially harmful substances which may lead to health problems.

swimming pool

While, adding chlorine to pool water is the most common way to kill disease-causing microbes and prevent swimmers from getting sick, chlorine mixes with sweat and urine and makes other substances.

Two of these compounds, including trichloramine (NCl3) and cyanogen chloride (CNCl), are frequently found in swimming pools. The first one is associated with lung problems, while the latter can also affect the lungs, as well as the heart and central nervous system.

But scientists have not yet identified all of the specific ingredients in sweat and urine that could cause these potentially harmful compounds to form.

Story continues below...

World's Most Unusual Swimming Pools

The study, published in American Chemical Society's journal Environmental Science & Technology looked at how chlorine interacts with uric acid, a component of sweat and urine.

Researchers mixed uric acid and chlorine, and within an hour, both NCl3 and CNCl formed. Though some uric acid comes from sweat, the scientists calculated that more than 90% of the compound in pools comes from urine.

They conclude that swimmers can improve pool conditions by simply urinating where they're supposed to — in the bathrooms.