Three Top Swimming Pool Myths

If you spend time at the pool this summer you probably will hear conversations that reinforce a few persistent myths about swimming pools. We invite you to check out three of the most popular myths below and then get the facts so that you can dazzle your poolside companions with your knowledge!

Myth Fact
If you pee in the pool, a dye in the water is activated, coloring the water around you. Swimmers are on the honor system when it comes to peeing in the pool. There is no dye used to give them away, although based on a recent survey of 1,000 adults, about 52 percent think there is. Dye or no dye, peeing in the pool is a very unhygienic practice that uses up chlorine and produces nasty irritants. Taking the time to leave the pool and use the bathroom is a public health courtesy.
Chlorine turns blonde hair green. Chlorine gets the blame but copper plays the game. Copper in the water comes from compounds added to destroy algae; it is also leached from metal plumbing in the pool (see Bhat et al. study).  Fair-haired swimmers might consider donning a bathing cap or using a use a shampoo formulated to help remove copper.
Swimming is bad for people with asthma. Doctors actually recommendswimming for patients with asthma.  Swimming in a properly maintained pool helps increase lung function in asthmatics and is a healthy form of exercise for people of all ages (more information).

One more fact: The Water Quality & Health Council wishes you
a safe and healthy summer in and out of the pool!


Chris Wiant, M.P.H., Ph.D., is president and CEO of the Caring for Colorado Foundation. He is also chair of the Water Quality & Health Council.