Next time you come out of a swimming pool with red eyes, don’t blame the chlorine – blame the delinquents you were doing laps with. The CDC teamed up with Water Quality, the Health Council, and the National Swimming Pool foundation to reveal the most upsetting news you’ll hear this summer: red eyes from swimming pools are actually caused by urine, not chlorine.
Michael J. Beach, Ph.D., associate director of the CDC’s Healthy Water program, explains,
“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 sweat.”
He also talks about the cough you get from being in an indoor pool and how it’s from the chemical reaction irritating your lungs. So it’s not the chlorine that’s causing the irritation, it’s actually pee.
Beach also revealed that the mythical pee dye is just that – mythical – so unless you’re cool with belly flopping into a massive pit filled with strangers’ urine, we’d suggest you stay away from public pools.
What a f*cking bummer.