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Risk Bites

How much pee could you end up swallowing while swimming?

1,560 views 3 months ago

How much of someone else's pee could you be swallowing while taking a swim? And is it dangerous?

This week, Risk Bites takes on the terribly important topic of peeing in swimming pools. Surprisingly, beyond the yuck factor of drinking someone else's urine, there is a more serious hazard -- production of cyanogen chloride from the reaction between uric acid and chlorine. To find out whether you should be worried about this -- watch the video! And as usual, please check out the resources below, and join the conversation in the comments.

The Risk Bites Team:
Andrew Maynard
David Faulkner
Alyssa Berry

Risk Bites is supported by:
University of Michigan School of Public Health. http://www.sph.umich.edu/
University of Michigan Risk Science Center. http://umriskcenter.org

Backing track: Based on Blue and Green by Rimsky. http://www.premiumbeat.com/...

Additional Reading
Urine + chlorine may equal health risks at pools. Environmental Health News, March 6 2014. http://www.environmentalhea...

No, It's Not Safe to Pee in the Pool, Says Science. Time, April 1 2014. http://time.com/45424/no-it...
(don't use)

Michael Phelps admits: we do pee in the pool. The Telegraph, August 6 2012. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/...

Ask Ars: How much pee in a pool would kill you? Ars Technica March 29 2014. http://arstechnica.com/scie...

Volatile disinfection byproducts resulting from chlorination of uric acid: Implications for swimming pools (2014) Lian et al. Environmental Science & Technology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/e...

EPA risk assessment of Cyanogen Chloride. http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/i...

Cyanogen Chloride: ToxNet. http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/c...

CDC Emergency Response Information: Cyanogen Chloride. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/er... Show less
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