The amount of exposure varies based on pool use, pool volume, and facility ventilation and maintenance practices.
The simplest solution: Just don't pee in the pool. "The benefits of keeping active through swimming outweigh the potential risks we use as rationale for the study", said Blackstock.
Li and team say the findings highlight the need to raise awareness of pool chemistry and lead author Lindsay Blackstock, also from the University of Alberta, says she hopes the study will promote education about appropriate swimming pool hygiene practices amongst the public.
According to a statement issued shortly before the 2012 Olympics in London, professional USA swimmers, Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte said that urinating in the pool is considered acceptable behavior.
Although urine is sterile, it has compounds such as urea, ammonia and creatinine that react with disinfectants to produce the so-called disinfection byproducts, or DBPs, that can cause eye and respiratory irritation. A urinary marker is desirable for the control of pool water quality. We chose acesulfame potassium (ACE) as our target artificial sweetener.
Based off of these measurements, scientists Lindsay K. Jmaiff Blackstock, Wei Wang, Sai Vemula, Benjamin T. Jaeger and Xing-Fang Li concluded that the average 220,000-gallon commercial-size swimming contains almost 20 gallons of pee.
Although the researchers were unable to confirm exactly what fraction of visitors were choosing to quietly relieve themselves in the water rather than making the shivery trip to the changing rooms, the results suggest that the urine content was being topped up several times each day. Of course, they needed and analytical technique that would work, so the team developed one. They analyzed more than 250 samples from 31 pools and tubs from two Canadian cities and found evidence of urine in all of the samples.
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Environmental toxicologists at the University of Alberta, Edmonton have tallied how much human urine is in commercial-sized swimming pools.
They have figured out how to test the amount of urine contained in swimming pool water.
It turns out, there wasn't just a little pee in public pools and hot tubs. Americans consume about 17 million metric tons of artificial sweeteners per year.
They followed that up by monitoring the levels of acesulfame-K in two pools over a three-week timeframe.
Funding for the research, in part, came from from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. One hotel had a hot tub with 20 times as much urine as its swimming pool.
Hot tubs, however, are the worst.
Swimming pool is a great place to cool down. It can interact with chlorine to create a chemical called tri-chloramine, which irritates the eyes and has been linked to occupational asthma in professional swimmers.