Red-eye at the pool? It's not the chlorine, it's the urine


Postmedia Network

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Public pool. (Postmedia Network)

Before you decide to beat the heat at the public pool this summer, consider this: The Center for Disease Control in the U.S. says its not the chlorine that makes your eyes red, it's all the urine.

The gross revelation came during an interview with Women's Health magazine, just in time for the Center's annual Healthy Swimming Program.

"Chlorine binds with all the things it's trying to kill from your bodies, and it forms these chemical irritants. That's what's stinging your eyes. It's the chlorine binding to the urine and the sweat," Michael J. Beach, Ph.D., associate director of the CDC's Healthy Water program, told the magazine.

And if you're not grossed out enough, consider that cough you can get from swimming at an indoor pool. Yep, that's from urine and sweat too.

The same trapped chemical, he said, can irritate lungs when you breathe it in.

It's all the more reason to make sure you shower before jumping in.

"If you're talking about thousands of people using the same pool, those germs can really add up," Beach said.

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