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Is it okay to pee in the pool?

To pee or not to pee, that is the question. From a young age, kids are told the myth that the pool will turn vibrant colors if they relieve themselves in it, but that doesn't always stop them. Plenty of people urinate in the pool, but does anyone really know if it's a big deal or not?

Pro swimmers opinion
Professional swimmer Ryan Lochte made headlines when he told Ryan Seacrest that he would pee in the pool during the Olympics, according to Us Weekly. He went on to explain that he wouldn't typically go during the races but he'd pee during the warm up. 

Michael Phelps, pro swimmer and good friend of Lochte's seemed to have a similar opinion. He told the Wall Street Journal that it's not only normal but it's almost difficult for swimmers to exit the pool to go to the bathroom during practice. He followed up by pointing out that chlorine kills germs anyhow, however, others would disagree with his pool peeing perspective.

Chemical research
A recent study published in the Environmental Science and Technology Journal claimed that chlorine doesn't kill urine but it in fact has an adverse reaction to it. Chemists analyzed samples of pool water and also experimented with combining chlorine with uric acid and found that it actually yields a compound called CNCI, otherwise known as cyanogen chloride, in swimming pools.

The source pointed out that it's typically a byproduct of chlorine and if you haven't heard of it before, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explained what CNCI is in a guide to chemical hazards. Slowly but surely it can react to water to transform into hydrogen cyanide, which is why many journalists and publications, such as Healthline News have compared this finding with chemical warfare.

According to the CDC, people can be exposed to it in a few ways. The skin can absorb it, the lungs can inhale it or it can be ingested. At any rate, exposure to cyanide can lead to coughing, vomiting, irregular heart beating, dizziness and breathing issues. 

What's a swimmer to do?
While this explanation is alarming, there haven't been any credible cases of issues like this from peeing in a pool and, as the journal pointed out, swimmers can enhance the sanitation of a pool and thus reduce risks like these.

Swimmers should shower up before every swim to ensure that their bodies are clean of lotions or other products, suggested the CDC. They should also try to get out and use the bathroom every hour or more often if they tend to pee frequently. If you're bringing a baby into the pool, be sure to change his or her diaper every 30 to 60 minutes and do so away from the pool area. 

In addition to personal hygiene, pool owners can lower the risk of unbalanced water and unsanitary conditions by having pools cleaned and chemically balanced on a regular basis. If you need any of the aforementioned services, call Fort Worth, San Diego or Phoenix pool service professionals. 

At the end of the day, it might not kill to pee in the pool, but it's also not the best idea. Keep your family and pool safe and clean year round.