My friend Duffy is on a roll with information that’s both useful and gross:

I always try to tell my kids, when we are in a pool with a ton of other kids, to NOT play around spitting the water….but they do, and I usually end up doing it back…..knowing darn well that half the kids peed in that pool. Not to count all the other crap in the water that chlorine doesn’t miraculously neutralize. So, here is why your eyes burn.


That’s right. It’s not the chlorine alone that makes your eyes red and burn when you swim in a pool. Rather, it’s the byproduct of the action of chlorine on urine, stool, sweat, suntan lotion, cosmetic products, and whatever you can think of, that causes the irritation. But mostly, says Chelsea Todaro, it’s the urine:

“It’s not the chlorine itself. It’s the chlorine mixed with poop and sweat and a lot of other things we bring into the water with us,” said Michele Hlavsa, chief of the CDC’s healthy swimming program, to Today.

Hlavsa said the nitrogen in urine “combines with the chlorine and it forms what’s known as chloramine … that causes the red eyes.” Also, beware if the pool you are swimming in has a very strong smell of chlorine. “Healthy pools don’t smell like chemicals,” Today reports.

Most people believe chlorine will help eliminate urine from swimming pools, but Hlavsa told Today the chlorine is busy cleaning E. coli and other potential germs in the water.


So that’s why you are supposed to shower before jumping in the pool!

Duffy is not done there, though:

I’d bet most of you didn’t know that every time a toilet gets flushed, aerosolized water particles containing fecal matter, including e. coli bacteria and other stuff, is spread around the room…..onto the toilet paper hanging off the roll…..onto the toilet seat…..onto the floor….onto toothbrushes!


Eeewww! I’ll let my friend tell you more about that on his blog here.