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Where do the red eyes in the swimming pool come from?
Anyone who goes to the swimming pool in summer will have noticed that many visitors get red eyes. The fact that these are caused by a long stay solely from chlorine water is said to be a myth, as the US Water Quality and Health Council explains. According to this, “a mixture of chlorine, sweat and urine” is responsible. Red eyes in the swimming pool are therefore a sign of insufficient cleanliness in the water. Even the smell of chlorine shouldn't really come from chlorine alone.
Summer, sun, warm water. But red eyes and a pungent stench in the swimming pool can spoil the bathing fun. Should you still go into the water? Can statements be made about water quality? Experts clearly say yes, because red eyes and stench are clear signs that the water quality is not right.
Red eyes when swimming are a sign of urine and sweat in the pool
"The chlorine smell at the pool doesn't really come from chlorine," explains Chris Wiant, chairman of the Water Quality and Health Council. "What you smell are chemicals that are created when chlorine mixes with urine, sweat and dirt from the human body." He quotes Dr. Tom Lachocki of the National Swimming Pool Foundation: "Swimmer eyes are the color proof that someone peed in the pool."
According to the American Center for the Control of Diseases, the substances chlorine cyanide and nitrogen trichloride are produced. Both substances should not get into the body. Chlorine cyanide was even used as a chemical warfare agent in combination with hydrocyanic acid in the First World War. Nevertheless, the experts emphasize that there is no reason to panic and that a visit to the swimming pool should not be avoided. Nitrogen trichloride in concentrations of up to 18 percent is considered harmless. The amounts of cyanogen chloride that arise from the chemical reaction with urine and sweat are also minimal.
Every visitor to the swimming pool can do something for clean water and eye redness. "For a healthy pool experience, take a shower before swimming to remove sweat, dirt, cosmetics and traces of feces - yes, we all have something on our bodies, so please take a shower," advises Wiant. And breaks to go to the sanitary facilities should be a matter of course for everyone. (sb)