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You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

Posted March 11, 2017 12:00 AM by M-ReeD
Pathfinder Tags: pools Urine

There is now no question about it. Every time you get into a community pool or hot tub, you are submersing yourself in a vat teeming with the urine of strangers (or, just as likely, the urine of the folks you do know). Because it seems, if there is any truth to a recent investigation conducted in Canada, that we are all urinating while we swim.

A team of researchers from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, conducted a study of 31 pools and hot tubs in two Canadian cities. Of the 31 pools and hot tubs tested, evidence of urine was found in each and every one of them. Not a surprising statistic considering that 19% of adults (in an anonymous survey) admitted to urinating in pools at least once in their lifetimes.

According to the study, on average, 8 gallons of urine were found in 110,000-gallon pools; 18.5 gallons of urine were found in 220,000-gallon pools. For hot tubs, the urine levels were higher with three times the urine than in the pools with the highest urine concentrations.

Researchers were able to determine the presence of urine by measuring the amount of an artificial sweetener (Acesulfmae Potassium, or ACE)—an ingredient in soups, diet sodas, candy, yogurt, and other processed foods—found in pools and hot tubs. Because 95% of the artificial sweetener passes through the body unchanged, it was discovered to be a decent indicator of the presence of urine.

Aside from the ick-factor, there are a few side effects to swimming in the “contaminated” water. Although urine is sterile, its subsequent byproducts from reacting with pool disinfectants might cause eye and respiratory irritation, with long-term exposure (mostly for professional swimmers and pool workers) linked to asthma.

However, the most disturbing revelation of this investigation was that a once-relied upon method for keeping me in the pool is the stuff of urban legend. The dye cloud that allegedly appears once a person begins to relieve themselves is a work of fiction created by clean-pool advocates hoping to humiliate young swimmers from urinating in the pool. A device that worked so effectively that I relied on it, perhaps too much, as a method of keeping clear of urinating swimmers.

Evidently, that tactic didn’t work for everyone….

Will this make you reconsider swimming in public pools?

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#1

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/11/2017 7:08 AM

Well, I would not agree to some point. It is most likely people who urinates on pools are the ones who is often not enjoying swing in it. Unless if that someone body is so unethically stupid.

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#2

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/11/2017 7:36 AM

Don't breathe either, people pass gas.

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#3

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/11/2017 12:40 PM

This seems exaggerated....but I guess it depends on how many kids you have in the pool....and how long the're in there....

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#4

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/11/2017 1:04 PM

I grew up out in the country and swam in the stream that ran through the property every year since I was too young to remember.

The same stream that was full of all sorts of aquatic life plus caught the runoff from the barnyard and manure piles of our place and every other farm and field upstream from us.

I have also swam in rivers, lakes and even an ocean or two.

Still here and still very much alive and healthy (probably a bit above average on the alive and healthy for my age part because of too!)

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#5
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Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/11/2017 1:25 PM

What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger...just ask any antibiotic-resistant superbug....

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#7
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Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/11/2017 6:29 PM

I grew up near a river and swam in it once. Once I dropped my camera in, and when I fished it out, the film was developed!

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#17
In reply to #4

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/15/2017 11:36 AM

Yeah, but look at yourself, and how all that manure has affected your thinking, ol' buddy! Hey I am just kidding, now, don't get all riled up and go on the warpath.

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#6

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/11/2017 6:09 PM

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#8
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Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/11/2017 11:06 PM

Speaking of common risks, this is something everyone should be aware of:

Dihydrogen Monoxide is a prevalent compound that is the key ingredient in most pesticides. DHMO contributes to environmental hazards such as acid rain, the greenhouse effect, and soil erosion. DHMO poisoning causes a sometimes fatal electrolyte imbalance in the bloodstream, and can cause excessive sweating, increased urination, and sometimes vomiting. Dihydrogen Monoxide also reacts explosively with alkaline earth metals such as lithium, sodium, potassium etc.
Prolonged, unprotected exposure to solid DHMO, or inhaling it can be fatal.
Despite these dangers, DHMO is used ubiquitously by industries, and is readily available to the public. Join the fight, and help get this troublesome, and potentially lethal chemical banned.
SAY 'NO' TO DIHYDROGEN MONOXIDE!

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#9
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Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/12/2017 1:24 PM

Yep and Nitrogen and Argon are asphyxiants yet we are regularly exposed to concentrations of them often exceeding 800,000 PPM in our breathable air without warning when CO2, another asphyxiant, has been proven to be potentially harmful at concentrations 400 times lower than that!

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#10
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Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/12/2017 6:27 PM

I'll go along with the nitrogen danger, but, to be fair, the argon in the atmosphere does not exceed 10,000 PPM. CO2 becomes toxic at around 120,000 PPM, but the natural concentration in the atmosphere is 400 PPM.

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#11
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Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/12/2017 7:44 PM

Yea at just short of 1% by volume Argon isn't a big deal but as for CO2

OSHA and the EPA seem to now feel that anything over 1000 PPM is dangerous for long term exposure.

Carbon Dioxide Exposure Limits.

And you know how people (who don't understand things) are scared shytless of everything (even if they are exposed to it all day long everyday) because if XX of one thing is bad XXXX of something else must be 100 times worse or because it is bad someplace in a very specific and highly circumstantial conditions it must be bad every where all the time regardless.

Especially if it's got a scary sounding technical name like (Dihydrogen Monoxide) or is a popular keyword or substance in scaremongering media and special interest groups.

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#12
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Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/13/2017 5:26 AM

No objection to setting 1000 PPM as a limit for CO2 as a workplace exposure, but it would be stretching the point to call that toxic. The concentrations of inhaled gases used to be my bread and butter as an anaesthetist, so I can inform you that CO2 in that sort of concentration is a mild respiratory stimulant and raises the blood pressure and pulse slightly, roughly comparable to going jogging. At 120,000 PPM it ceases to be a stimulant and becomes a respiratory depressant and narcotic. Now that's what I call toxic.

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#15
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Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/13/2017 7:02 PM

I don't make the rules. I just scratch my head and wonder at what idiots did and why.

But then I think about how ignorant the majority of the population is on most any technical topic plus how many believe the if something is potentially harmful one level it must mean that it's bad at all levels.

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#18
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Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/15/2017 11:40 AM

DMHO is very deadly when it is allowed to condense and run into low lying areas, where some bugs and very short people who cannot swim could enter.

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#13

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/13/2017 3:56 PM

Is there a chance that this chemical compound is also exuded from the skin as well from sweat glands which have ready access to the bloodstream?

That would severely skew the results of this 'study' which reeks of a certain hue of journalism. Hot tubs would make people's skin even more 'active' than regular swimming pools.

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/13/2017 5:29 PM

No, acesulfame potassium is not excreted in sweat and does not pass through the skin by any other means.

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#16
In reply to #14

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/13/2017 8:25 PM

OK, thanks. Just had to wonder though.

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#19

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/15/2017 12:57 PM

The yellow color gives it away. It should be blue.

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