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What Happens When You Pee in the Pool?

Chlorinated Swimming Pool

Story at-a-glance -

  • Highly toxic disinfection byproducts (DBPs) form from reactions between pool disinfectants like chlorine and organic matter, including hair, skin, sweat, dirt and… urine
  • A new study revealed urination in a chlorinated pool creates two DBPs: cyanogen chloride (CNCl), which is classified as a chemical warfare agent, and trichloramine (NCl3), which is linked to lung damage
  • Exposure to DBPs in swimming pools has been linked to genotoxic (DNA damage that may lead to cancer) and respiratory effects
  • Since urinating in a pool introduces uric acid that will lead to the formation of poisonous DBPs when it interacts with chlorine, it should be avoided
  • Showering before entering a swimming pool is also important to help reduce the amount of organic matter introduced to the water

By Dr. Mercola

One in five Americans admit they have peed in a pool, and among Olympic swimmers, the practice is so widespread that a former US National team member said nearly 100 percent of competitive swimmers pee in the pool… regularly.


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