Saturday, 18 November, 2017

How Much Wee Is In Our Swimming Pools? Scientists Reveal The Truth

Artificial sweeteners help monitor the amount of urine in pools How much pee is in our swimming pools? New urine test reveals the truth
Sammy Stanley | 06 March, 2017, 00:29

But thanks to the artificial sweeteners you eat, science knows.

A new study, published this month in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, suggests that as many as 20 gallons, or 75 liters, in a large swimming pool may be pee. It is for these reasons we felt ACE would be an ideal indicator of urine and would most likely be detectable in pools and hot tubs.

She said the researchers wanted to use the study to promote better public hygiene.

Researchers at the University of Alberta (UA) were able to measure the quantity of urine in public pools by searching for traces of a telltale artificial sweetener.

Researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada just confirmed our worst fears about pee in swimming pools, pushing avid swimmers to re-think that dip they take in the community pool each summer. To estimate how much urine - and potentially DBPs - might be in a given pool, Li's team needed to identify what compound might consistently be present in urine.

The research also found people were peeing in hot tubs, which had higher levels of urine than swimming pools.

The researchers then chose to take a more detailed look at two pools in particular, finding the average concentration of Ace-K at those sites to be 150 to 200 nanograms per litre. Also, as the researchers highlight, urine harbors lots of nitrogen compounds - urea, ammonia and amino acids - that can react with pool disinfectants like chlorine to form toxic compounds.

This was done by identifying the synthetic sweetener acesulfame-K (ACE) - which is widely consumed - and examining its excretion in urine.

While most people, beyond early childhood, would not admit to using their local swimming pool as a giant communal toilet, the results are not entirely surprising. We found ACE was present in 100 percent of the pools and hot tubs we sampled.

"Exposure to volatile disinfection byproducts, specifically trichloramine, in indoor swimming facilities can lead to eye and respiratory irritation and has been linked to occupational asthma".

If you ever found yourself wondering about how much urine is there in a public pool, then you will be absolutely thrilled to find out that a team of Canadian researchers asked the same question and actually got their answer.

Now that you're surely up for a swim, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers tips like showering before getting into the water, avoiding swallowing the water, steering clear of the pool if you have bowel or diarrhea issues, and finally, of course, don't pee or poop in the water.

"We recommend that all pool users should rinse off excess personal care products in the provided showers before entering public pools", she told Research Gate.


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