In 2012, Olympic champion swimmer Michael Phelps was asked if he ever peed in the pool. He grinned and said “I think everybody pees in the pool. It's kind of a normal thing to do for swimmers. When we’re in the water for two hours, we don’t really get out to pee. Chlorine kills it so it’s not bad.”
It turns out, he was only 50% right.
New research says relieving yourself while you’re relaxing (or racing,) causes chemical reactions that are bad for more than your skin.
The report says when urine combines with the chlorine and other pool additives it creates nitrogen thrichloramine gas.
That gas is known to damage the heart, lungs, central nervous system and other organs. Scientists at Purdue and China Agricultural University performed the work, and they claim it could be significant for anyone who spends a great deal of time in a pool.
The group studied a swim meet and found the chemical doubled after the first day of competition and was at three to four times the original reading by the end of the event.
Quartz reports that means a small pool would become saturated, and possibly hazardous, much faster. Scientists say the best way to fight the effect is simple.
Don’t pee in the pool.
The other option is to steer clear of “the vicinity of urine release locations in pools.” Put more simply, don’t swim near children. Good luck mom!