Urine mixed with chlorine, used to disinfect pools, can cause chemical reactions that have been linked to respiratory problems in swimmers, a research said.
Chlorine reacts with a number of chemicals found in human sweat and urine.
In lab experiments, the scientists combined water collected from swimming pools with mixtures meant to mimic the chemical composition of sweat and urine.
“Analyses of swimming pool water samples, combined with the results of experiments indicated that uric acid chlorination may account for a large fraction of cyanogen chloride formation in swimming pools,” said a team of researchers from Beijing-based China Agricultural University and US-based Purdue University.
Cyanogen chloride can affect multiple organs, including lungs, heart and central nervous system via inhalation.
“If swimmers avoid urinating in pools, then air and water quality would likely improve independent of other changes in water treatment or air circulation,” the researchers said.
The findings were published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.