Swimming Pool Red Eye Is From Urine Not Chlorine, US Health Agency Confirms

Summer is almost here, which means pool season will soon be upon us.

As long queues to the loos, soggy towels and burning red eyes become the norm, there is a niggling thought that every swimmer pushes to the back of their mind -- just how much pee is there in the pool?

Well there's no way of actually knowing but according to U.S. hygiene group Water Quality and Health Council, burning red eyes is a sure sign that you are wallowing in someone's urine.

Working with U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a team of researchers said that "swimmers’ eyes are the real colour indicator that someone might have peed in a pool.”

The science behind this disgusting fact involves nitrogen based chemicals in dirt, sweat and pee -- urea and uric acid -- reacting with chlorine and forming irritants that results in blood shot eyes, spluttering coughs and running noses.

Chris Wiant, Chair of the Water Quality and Health Council explained: "That ‘chlorine’ smell at the pool isn’t actually chlorine.

"What you smell are chemicals that form when chlorine mixes with pee, sweat and dirt from swimmers’ bodies.”

Michele Hlavsa, chief of CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program added: “The solution isn’t rocket science; it’s common courtesy.

"Swimmers should use the pool to swim, the restroom to pee and the showers to wash up before getting in the pool. It’s that simple.”

So to summarise, there isn't a mythical dye that tells you when someone pees in the pool and chlorine is not to blame for that burning sensation that takes over your eyes after you've finished a swim.

Apologies if we've ruined summer for you.

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