Think about whenever you or your friends go to a swimming pool. When you get close to the facility, there is always that one person that says ” Wow I can smell the chlorine!” Well, what if I were to tell you that you actually were not smelling chlorine alone? You would likely reply with something along the lines of “Oh well of course man. I understand that there is chemicals in public swimming pool water, but it’s what I do for fun so I do not really care..” Hold on there! I was not trying to turn you off of swimming because of the chemicals in the water by any means. However, I will leave you with something that might leave you questioning something. You know when you come out of the pool and your eyes are red, itchy and you find it hard to see? Well, What if I told you that the reason that happens is not entirely because of the chlorine? Let me explain.
It turns out that you are partially correct, as that stench you smell as you approach closer and closer to the pool does contain chlorine. However, that smell is also the product of swimmer’s sweat, urine, feces, dirt and the chlorine in the pool. Next there is the eye reddening sensation that swimmers get when they exit the pool. Turns out that the chemical responsible for that is called chloramine, which is a derivative of ammonia, a chemical that makes your eyes water if too much is inhaled. By now, you are probably getting ready to tell me off, since you already thought earlier that you did not care about chemicals being in the swimming pools. Well, I agree, the chemical itself is not too much to worry about at all, but its construction may be what does it for you. Remember how I mentioned that there was urine contributing toward that smell you get when you approach a pool? Well, the combination of chlorine and urine is what creates chloramine. There you have it. So you are likely swimming in urine and chlorine if you frequent public swimming pools. Think about that the next time you have a contest to see how long you can keep your eyes open under water, or when you see if you can understand your friend who is talking with their mouth open underwater and especially if you have kids, younger siblings or relatives who think its funny to drink the water in the pool!