The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a gross bombshell for swimmers explaining why their eyes burn in the pool.
Most swimmers believe that red, stinging eyes in the pool are caused by chlorine. While this isn’t completely false, there’s another disgusting element that creates the burning.
“Irritants in the air at swimming pools are usually the combined chlorine-by products of disinfection. These by-products are the result of chlorine binding with sweat, urine, and other waste from swimmers,” a report from the CDC said.
These irritants tend to be stronger in indoor pools, where they can contribute to poor air quality. The lack of air circulation can cause further irritation for swimmers, such as red eyes and stinging.
The CDC’s findings, first reported in May 2013, gain were gaining renewed attention as summer begins this year.
“When we go swimming and we complain that our eyes are red, it’s because swimmers have peed in the water,” Michele Hlavsa, chief of the CDC’s healthy swimming program, told Today.com in a story posted Tuesday. “The nitrogen in the urine combines with the chlorine and it forms what’s known as chloramine and it’s actually chloramine that causes the red eyes. It’s not the chlorine itself. It’s chlorine mixed with poop and sweat and a lot of other things we bring into the water with us.”
The CDC says that keeping doors and windows open allows for better air circulation.
Swimmers are advised to shower and use the restroom before getting in the pool to decrease the formation of irritants.
— CDC (@CDCgov) June 24, 2015
— CDC (@CDCgov) June 23, 2015