To pee or not to pee

Do you have a set of questions that you use as a guide to whether you want to pursue a further relationship with a person? Perhaps you might ask, “What do you think about organics?”…this might indicate to you the other’s position on sustainable living. Alternately you might pose the question, “If you could have unlimited money or love, which would you choose?”…you would get a fair idea of their motivations from that one. There are lots of questions you could use to see where a person stands, you might even ask them what they think of pee-ing, or urinating, in public pools. If you do use this as a filtering question, thanks to a new study you will be armed with knowledge of the consequences of such public peeing.

The new study based itself on the fact that the most common way to kill disease causing microbes in pool water to prevent patrons from becoming sick is to add chlorine to the water. The problem is that as people swim and play in pools sweat and urine can become added to mix. When chlorine mixes with sweat or urine it can form trichloramine (NCl3) and cyanogens chloride (CNCl). NCl3 can cause lung problems while CNCl can affect the lungs as well as the heart and nervous system.

Previously the ingredients in sweat and urine that form these compounds have not been well identified but these researchers have shown that uric acid (from both urine and sweat) will form both NCl3 and CNCl within an hour. The researchers further calculated that around 90 per cent of the uric acid in public pools comes from urine and not sweat.

So for yourself and others, the answer to the Hamlet-ian question, “to pee or not to pee?” has to be that it is fine to pee but just pee where you ought to pee, and not in the public p-ool.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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