A health expert from the National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, Dr. Olalekan Bonire, has warned Nigerians against urinating in swimming pools.
Urinating in the pool, he said, is not only a bad habit but also an act that puts the health of others at risk.
according to dr Bonire, urinating in the pool could have harmful effects on the lungs and eyes of those who use the pool.
NOHI’s surgical resident explained that when chlorine, a disinfectant added to pool water, mixes with uric acid derived from swimmers’ urine or sweat, it could trigger a chemical reaction that can lead to the formation of harmful compounds.
Those harmful substances that are produced include trichloramine and cyanogen chloride, he said.
dr Bonire further explained that while the chemical compounds produced are gaseous and could escape from the pool to the atmosphere before being lost to the atmosphere, some of them could be inhaled by swimmers in the pool and cause lung disease.
In an interview with a source, Dr. Bonire: “Chlorine is an agent with antimicrobial properties and is normally added to pool water to act as a disinfectant.
“However, uric acid is normally extracted from both the urine and sweat of people when they swim in the pool.
“Normally, a chemical reaction takes place between the chlorine introduced into the water and the uric acid in the urine or sweat; A chemical compound forms in the pool.
“These two chemical compounds, trichloramine and cyanogen chloride, are inhalable and can be breathed in through the nostrils, causing lung disease in swimmers. They also affect the eyes, making them itchy and red, but the lungs are more at risk,” he said.
The expert further added: “The combination helps create a chemical compound that is gaseous and because it’s gaseous it can escape from the pool into the atmosphere.
“The problem is that some of them can be inhaled by swimmers in the pool before those substances are released into the atmosphere.”
However, he noted that the rate at which the inhaled chlorine and uric acid compounds cause lung disease could be very low.
dr Bonire further explained that the way a swimming pool is managed by the owners could also determine the risk of lung disease from those who urinate in the pool.
“Typically, some pool owners don’t withdraw all the water, but keep refilling it, so pools that are not well maintained can also increase the risk of lung disease.
“Typically, pool owners are advised not only to sanitize, but also to drain the water, wash the tiles and top up the pool with fresh water and then add chlorine. In this way, possible lung diseases can be prevented,” said the expert.
According to him, another problem could arise if the chlorine in pool water could get into a person’s bladder, although this is very rare.
He explained: “Another problem is that the chlorine liquid in the pool water gets into a person’s bladder.
“Women are known to have a short urinary tract compared to men with male genitalia.
“The chlorinated pool water tends to enter a woman’s bladder because she has a short urinary tract compared to men.
“Nevertheless, I don’t think this has been linked to a disease state because the urinary tract also closes through muscular action.”
“However, peeing in the pool is generally a bad habit and should be discouraged due to the harmful effects it can have on the lungs and even the eyes.
“A standard pool should have a toilet facility on the side so that when swimmers feel pressured, they can easily go there, urinate, and then return to the pool.”