Those burning eyes are caused by sweat, not chlorine. Those burning, red eyes you dreaded on pool days as a kid? They have a much more disgusting culprit than you thought. As Dr. Michael J. Beach of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told a Pittsburgh news station: “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 sweat.”
Lung issues lurk. What doctors call “hot tub lung,” caused by bacteria called Nontuberculous mycobacteria, can appear in a hot tub’s bubbly mist and give you a cough and fever when inhaled. Another hot tub risk is Legionnaire’s disease, a serious form of pneumonia.
Pool water does not change color when a fellow swimmer urinates. Ever hear that rumor growing up that when someone relieves themselves in the pool, a dye activates to change the water’s color? According to Dr. Beach, that’s a big myth, propagated to scare people out of peeing in the pool. Let’s hope it did its job!
Feces abound. The CDC has reported that the average pool goer contributes approximately .14 grams of fecal matter into the pool – at least. This can increase the risk of E. coli and other harmful ailments. Rinsing with soap and water before taking a dip helps prevent this.
Skin infections are easy to contract. Molluscum, a highly contagious skin infection that consists of itchy bumps, can be caught by using damp towels or other surfaces that have been previously used by an infected person. A common condition contracted in hot tubs is Pseudomona Folliculitis, a frequently antiobiotic-resistant skin infection that also produces itchy, red bumps. Thankfully, it often heals on its own in less than 10 days.
For more tips on pool and hot tub safety, take a look at the CDC’s swimming health guidelines before diving in!
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