Peeing in the Pool makes Chloramines

September 08, 2014

Peeing in the Pool Creates Poison

Below is a video discussing a journal article from the American Chemical Society discussing peeing in the pool.  ("Volatile Disinfection Byproducts Resulting from Chlorination of Uric Acid: Implications for Swimming Pools" in Environ. Sci. Technol., 2014, 48 (6), pp 3210–3217).

Chlorine + Urea = Chloramines = Poison

To summarize the science:

  • Human urine contains urea, which has nitrogen atoms;
  • Most pools use chlorine to sanitize the water;
  • Chlorine reacts with molecules having nitrogen atoms, including human urine.
  • The reaction of chlorine with nitrogen atoms makes chloramines, which are nasty chemicals;
  • People shouldn't pee in the pool.

Other sources of urea....

As a side note, we've noticed that many personal care products include urea or urea compounds.  (Read the ingredients on your shampoo or body wash).  As a precaution, swimmers and people exposed to chlorinated water may want to think twice before using products containing urea.  Of course, using SwimSpray would neutralize any residual chlorine before using those products, ensuring that the urea does not react with residual chlorine to make chloramines.

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