My pool and spa business serviced an account that taught babies how to swim. But try as we might, the water in his above ground swimming pool was a nightmare. Why? Here’s the math:
10 Babies in 10 Swim Diapers = A Sanitary Nightmare
Yes, swim diapers help slow down the release of disease-causing germs, but only for a short time. In fact, the common cause of a recreational water illness (RWI) is cryptosporidium (crypto). You don’t want it visiting your innards, especially if you are a little kid, or pregnant, or have a weakened immune system.
Crypto is the single largest threat to pool users. Where does it come from? D-I-A-R-R-H-E-A. (Just another reason why you will never catch me in a public swimming pool—even if climate change gives summer 3 months of 3-digit heat.)
One would hope that if one is suffering from such a poopy circumstance, that one would have the common sense to stay out of a swimming pool. One would hope. Babies, on the other hand, are just kind of a runny mess anyway, if you get my drift.
Here’s the dope: Researchers measured the amount of microsphere that released from swim diapers worn by children. The microspheres were plastic particles that have a similar size 9five microns) to that of crypto. Normal swim trunks, common disposable diapers and reusable diapers with and without vinyl diaper covers were tested. Swimming trunks without a swim diaper of any kind had the poorest performance; almost 90% of the microspheres were released into the water within one minute. YUCKY.
Swim diapers released at least 50% of the microspheres within one minute. Placement of a vinyl diaper cover over a disposable swim diaper slightly improved performance. But, in all cases, 25% or more of the microspheres were detected in the water within two minutes.
Here’s the kicker: “When a fecal accident contains about a billion disease-causing crypto oocysts, hundreds of millions of oocysts get into the water within minutes. The retention of diarrhea in swim diapers is very short-lived. Swimmers only need to ingest about 10 crypto oocysts to become infected,” said Dr. James Amburgey, one of the researchers from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.
BTW, crypto can’t be seen by the naked eye and it’s “highly” resistant to chlorine.
(Thanks to a back issue of The IPSSAN for this story.)