Urine in pool water possibly causing eye irritation not chlorine

Could you be swimming in urine?

Ever wonder why your eyes may burn or turn red while swimming? Chlorine usually takes the blame, but the Centers for Disease Control claims it's something much more disgusting that's irritating your eyes.

According to the CDC, urine and other bodily germs including feces, sweat, and dirt mix with pool chemicals, like Chlorine and bromine, and it creates a chemical similar to ammonia.

That chemical called is what could be irritating your eyes.

"The job of pool chemicals is to kill germs. But when pee, poop, sweat, and dirt rinse off our bodies and into the water, the chemicals break down these other things instead of killing germs. This uses up the chemicals' power, which means there's less to kill germs," according to the study.

"My mom always tells me to take the pee out of the pool," Tessa Gregson said.

Gregson's mom is right. You should get out of the pool to pee.

"It's pretty gross. I don't want my kid, swimming in other kids stuff," swimmer Wes Workman said.

The CDC warns of recreational water illnesses caused by germs in the water. RWI's can be a wide variety of infections including the most common illness, diarrhea.

But the problem isn't only in public pools. Germs from feces, urine, and other body fluids can live in properly treated public and private pools, and hot tubs for days.

"It's the parent's responsibility to take care of it so it doesn't become a problem," Workman said.

The CDC claims the only ways to prevent catching RWI's is to keep water free of germs.

  • Hit the showers before you go swimming.
  • If you're sick stay out of the water.
  • Don't urinate or poop in the pool.
  • Don't swallow the water.


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