The Center for Disease Control would like you to know a few facts about your favorite summer spot: the local pool. Namely, it’s urine and sweat that’s making your kid’s eyes bloodshot, and more and more people are getting sick after swimming in public pools due to the amount of feces present. Yay! Happy summer!
Michael J. Beach, Ph.D., associate director of the CDC’s Healthy Water program told Women’s Health, “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 the sweat.” Beach also explains that the number of disease outbreaks at public pools is increasing because of adults, children, or babies swimming while they have diarrhea. “We have a new parasitic germ that has emerged that’s immune to chlorine,” says Beach. “We’ve got to keep it out of the pool in the first place. We need additional barriers.”
Yes, these are completely disgusting factoids, but let’s be honest: we can all grasp that swimming in public pools is pretty gross without the help of the CDC. But we ignore it because swimming is fun, our kids love it, and come on — there are so many gross common occurrences we decide to ignore because if we didn’t, the joy would be completely sucked out of our lives. We all pretend that chlorine will essentially make swimming in a giant, cool, public bathtub less gross. It doesn’t. Whatever. My kids are still going to swim.
Can you imagine all the things we would cease to enjoy if we stopped to think about how gross they really are? Goodbye endless, amazing Vegas buffets. Goodbye cookie samples. Goodbye hotel hot tubs. Remember that video they showed us all in middle school that has super-zoom footage of all the microscopic bugs that are constantly crawling all over our bodies and living in our eyebrows? I put the knowledge that public pools are disgusting vats of pee and disease in the same corner of my brain that stores the memories of those videos. And I lock it away so I can fully embrace joy in my life and not be perpetually freaked out and disgusted.
There are a couple things you can do to contribute to the quest for cleanliness at the public pool: never go swimming when you are sick, never, ever pee in the pool, and don’t go in pools when you have open wounds. Apart from that, I suggest you lock the knowledge of how absolutely disgusting public pools are deep, deep in the recesses of your brain so you can have a nice summer.