A recent “Today” show investigation has found that most pools and hot tubs contain some amounts of urine.
A recent ‘Today’ show investigation has found that most pools and hot tubs contain some amounts of urine.
NBC correspondent Jeff Rossen took water samples from a kiddie pool, a water park wave pool, three hotel pools, and two hot tubs; all but one tested positive for the substance.
These results are in line with a recent study out of Canada which found that a “220,000-gallon, commercial-size swimming pool contained almost 20 gallons of urine,” notes NPR.
Meanwhile, a typical pool at someone’s home was estimated to have about two gallons of the substance. Researchers in the Canadian study also reportedly found that hot tubs were some of the worst offenders, with one site containing three times more urine than the poorest performing swimming pool.
NPR quotes environmental engineer Ernest Blatchley III as saying, “I think you can assume that if people are using your pool, they’re peeing in it.”
Aside from the psychological factors that are involved, there can be real consequences, with Dr. John Torres, a medical correspondent for NBC, telling Rossen, “There are some health risks because when that urine mixes with the chlorine, it makes two chemicals, cyanogen chloride and trichloramine. Those chemicals can irritate your eyes, they can irritate your lungs, they can irritate your skin.”
Despite the risks, experts suggest that people continue to swim for the exercise benefits but advise against any urination in the pool.