In today's edition of extremely gross news, for their Healthy Swimming Program— the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) teamed up with Water Quality, the Health Council and the National Swimming Pool foundation to drop some knowledge about how to stay healthy while swimming and let us really know what's up with our eyes turning red after a day at the pool.
Spoiler alert: it's not the chlorine.
While we all may think that it's the chemical that is causing us to have red eyes or an itchy feeling while in the water, Michael J. Beach, Ph.D., associate director of the CDC's Healthy Water program says, "it's quite the opposite."
"Chlorine binds with all the things it's trying to kill from your bodies, and it forms these chemical irritants. That's what's stinging your eyes. It's the chlorine binding to the urine and sweat," says Beach.
He also talks about the cough you get from being in an indoor pool and how it's from the chemical reaction irritating your lungs. So it's not the chlorine that's causing the irritation, it's actually pee.
Oh and if you think you're safe with the 'pee dye' that people use to shame the urinators (the dye that changes colors in water when someone pees) is actually fake. "It's a myth. It's about scaring people into not urinating in the pool," says Beach. Yikes.
Although this news may be discouraging, there are ways to prevent the foulness: don't pee in the pool. It's as simple as that. Practice safe swimming, fam.