News Worms
News Worms

You won't believe what scientists just found in public swimming pools

You won't believe what scientists just found in public swimming pools

A study published in 2014 in Environmental Science & Technology, for example, found that when uric acid in human urine mixes with chlorine, a toxic compound called cyanogen chloride (CNCI) and trichloramine (NCl3) is formed, TIME reported. The interesting part it is how the team reached this conclusion: artificial sweeteners. To illustrate, if an individual wants to pee, they have to go out of the pool and urinate on the comfort rooms. Based on the concentrations of the sweetener, the researchers estimated that swimmers released more than 7 gallons of urine - enough to fill a medium-size trash bin - in a 110,000-gallon pool in one instance, and almost 20 gallons in a 220,000-gallon pool (one-third the size of an Olympic-size pool) in another instance. The bad news: 100 percent of the tested pools contained at least some Ace-K.

"Even though no one would admit to peeing in a pool, obviously somebody has to be doing it", said one of the researchers, Lindsay Blackstock, a PhD student of analytical and environmental toxicology at Alberta University.

In addition, the team analyzed 250 samples from 31 other pools and hot tubs, and discovered ACE levels were up to 570 times greater than the amount of pee found in tap water. The samples were collected in two undisclosed Canadian cities, from public and private pools, hotels, and hot tubs.

Researchers from the University of Alberta, Edmonton have estimated the amount of urine in swimming pools.

On average, there were 8 gallons of urine in a 110,000-gallon pool and 18.5 gallons of urine in a 220,000-gallon pool. However, the current research confirms that human urine is present in swimming pools. They then followed the urine levels in two pools over a period of three weeks.

Although urine is sterile, it has compounds such as urea, ammonia and creatinine that react with disinfectants to produce the so-called disinfection byproducts, or DBPs, that can cause eye and respiratory irritation.

225 litres of pee in an Olympic pool? Ace-K has been found in people's urine in China too.

Blackstock: The motivation to investigate ACE as an indicator of urine in swimming pools and hot tubs was not because there are no existing alternative methods. "[We're] just looking at the concentration of sweetener, and that's the volume needed to lead to the values that we saw".

The people around you might not know you peed. Here we report the occurrence of ACE and its potential application in swimming pools and hot tubs. We recommend that all pool users should rinse off excess personal care products in the provided showers before entering public pools.


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