Peeing in the Swimming Pool & Bladder Cancer! My Worst Nightmare.

Which kids are peeing in the pool?
Which kids are peeing in the pool?


Let it be known that I DO NOT SWIM IN PUBLIC POOLS.  The following news piece recently crossed my desk and ripped open my nightmare of being tossed into a public swimming pool that’s not blue, but a golden urine-yellow.  That’s right, folks, good, old-fashioned pee in the pool.

That combined with everyone else’s body yuck, and the fact that most public pool maintenance dudes are not necessarily the swiftest water skimmers, I DO NOT SWIM IN PUBLIC POOLS.  BTW I’m an expert swimmer.

Here’s the abbreviated version of a sciencedaily March 31 report:

Champaign, IL — A 10-year study on disinfection byproducts (DBPs) reports on the connection between certain DBPs in drinking water that are “emerging” in scientific studies and their carcinogenic potential, according to a March 31 ScienceDaily report based on a University of Illinois press release.


The study, which began with a grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has found that iodine-containing DBPs are much more toxic and genotoxic than other DBPs now regulated by EPA, according to University of Illinois geneticist Michael Plewa, the study’s author.


Plewa said another “somewhat surprising” discovery concerns nitrogen-containing DBPs. “Disinfectant byproducts that have a nitrogen atom incorporated into the structure are far more toxic and genotoxic, and some even carcinogenic, than those DBPs that don’t have nitrogen. And there are no nitrogen-containing DBPs that are currently regulated,” Plewa said…


In addition to drinking-water DBPs, Plewa said that swimming pools and hot tubs are DBP reactors. “You’ve got all of this organic material called ‘people’ — and people sweat and use sunscreen and wear cosmetics that come off in the water. People may urinate in a public pool. Hair falls into the water and then this water is chlorinated. But the water is recycled again and again so the levels of DBPs can be tenfold higher than what you have in drinking water,” Plewa said, noting that studies show higher levels of bladder cancer and asthma in people who do a lot of swimming.



This brings me back to shameless promotion of my chlorine-free sanitization system for pools.  Dude, it really works and you can laugh in the face of that “chlorine-smell.”


Alternatives can be a good thing.

Published by Charmaine Coimbra

Reporter, journalist and author who has owned and operated a bookstore, a pool and spa full service business, an apple farm, and is now committed to environmental issues. She has written four books: The Gathering Basket, Connection with 48 Natural Contemplations, Seek Beauty, Find Joy: a Companion Journal to Natural Contemplations; and children's book, Isu Learns to Swim.

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