Peeing In The Pool Is Actually Bad For Your Health, According To Science (And It's Just Gross)

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Remember how your parents would always tell (or beg) you not to pee in the pool, because swimming in urine is just plain disgusting? Well, according to Salon, peeing in the pool is more than disgusting: it’s actually bad for your health. And no, chlorine doesn't "kill" the pee, it just makes it worse. A lot worse.

A new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology suggests that when uric acid (found in urine) joins forces with chlorine, it produces two byproducts: cyanogen chloride and trichloramine. Both compounds are harmful when inhaled in large quantities — key word being "large." More specifically, cyanogen chloride can cause damage to your lungs, heart, and central nervous system, TIME explains. Trichloramine can cause injuries to your respiratory system. As you can see, there's really no winning when it comes to pool urinating (so stop!).

Oh, but it gets worse. According to Ars Technica, the World Health Organization actually considers cyanogen chloride a chemical warfare agent (yeah, it’s that bad). However, despite such a label, it's not at all deadly in small quantities. But in case you were curious, Ars Technica explains that even if you and 3 million people were to pee in the same pool, you'd probably die from a tidal wave before experiencing cyanogen chloride poisoning (though in that case, it's possible). Whew.

BUT STILL, that's no reason to go around urinating in pools. First and foremost, it's a gross habit and there's nothing more awkward than suddenly encountering warm water while enjoying a swim. You can also get sick and experience irritation from those compounds! Healthline points out that authors of the study aren't trying to scare people with this information, just inform them. That, and now we can also play the science card when calling someone out. ("Um, excuse me, can you stop creating a chemical warfare agent while I'm trying to do laps? Thanks.")

And to answer your question, yes. There is a cheesy PSA video created to warn people about the dangers of urinating in the pool. Enjoy:

American Chemical Society on YouTube