Even the biggest hypochondriacs probably take some solace in the fact that chlorine destroys germs in pools. But when pool water burns your eyes, it’s not that chemical you’re feeling. It’s urine.
Michael J. Beach, Ph.D., associate director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Swimming program, told Women’s Health:
“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 the sweat.”
PSA: DON’T PEE IN THE POOL.
And that poop bacteria that’s everywhere? It’s in pools, too. The reason you’re supposed to shower before diving in is it washes off any nasties on your skin (like diarrhea-causing norovirus) that might make other people sick when they swallow, breathe, or generally have contact with the water.
Decline those invites to the Vegas bachelorette party and the all-inclusive beach trip. Nothing is safe. Stay home in your caftan.