Chlorine smell indicates cleanliness in the swimming pool
Whether urine, dander or sweat: there are many unpleasant substances in the swimming pool. But as a visitor, you usually don't notice anything, because the disinfectant chlorine decomposes the germs in the bath water. Based on the typical swimming pool smell, bathers can see how good the hygiene in the pool is.
Chlorine is initially odorless
Not everyone likes going to the swimming pool. Because when you think about what could be in the water, some feel disgusted. "Chlorine is used against it," is the answer here. This is true so far, because the disinfectant is used to keep the water in the pool clean.
Does a strong smell of chlorine in the bathroom mean that it is particularly clean there? No, just the opposite. Because the typical swimming pool smell does not arise solely from the chlorine, but only when the substance decomposes urine. "If there is a strong smell of chlorine, this means that a lot of urea has been introduced into the water," explains Alexander Kampf, head of the pool and pool water department at the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), in an interview with the news agency "dpa".
Chlorine is one of the most reactive chemical elements and reacts quickly with other substances. If the odorless “free” chlorine meets urea, “bound” chlorine is formed, which includes, for example, trichloramine. It is this connection that creates the strong smell that we perceive as the supposed smell of chlorine.
Skin releases small amounts of urea
Most of the urea gets into the pool through urine - from children who pee in the water, seniors with bladder weakness or swimmers who are simply too comfortable to go to a toilet. A small part of urea is also washed out of the skin, where it normally belongs to the natural moisture factors and ensures elasticity and suppleness.
Bathers should take a thorough shower
"Peeing in the pool once adds about six grams of urea to the pool," says Kampf. According to the expert, this corresponds to the number of almost 40 bathing guests who only enter the urea through the skin. Because calculations by the Federal Environment Agency have shown that on average 0.16 grams of urea get into the water per swimming pool visitor.
Bathers should therefore take a thorough shower before going to the toilet, because washing would remove 75 to 97 percent of the urea, explains Alexander Kampf. But the swimmers don't want to "force" because "these are bathers", says Jörg Rosbach from the Frankfurt baths.
Accordingly, many visitors continue to bring substances into the pool that have to be removed by the operators of the bath. “The more people there are, the bigger the organic freight,” says Rosbach. In order to check how the hygiene in the bathroom is, you should trust your own nose. "If you smell the swimming pool in the entrance, something is wrong," said the expert.
Up to 75 liters of urine in the water
That swimmers pee in the pool is no exception. Rather, Canadian researchers came to the conclusion through a study that urine is found in every public swimming pool without exception. The scientists examined more than 30 pools and were able to detect an average of 75 liters of urine in large 50-meter pools. Smaller 25-meter pools had around 30 liters of pee in the water.
Method of discovering pelvic pissers
In 2014, in order to catch the pelvic urinals red-handed, US researchers introduced a process by which urine and faeces in the water glow green. To do this, they mixed the water with zinc ions, which together with a by-product of urine formed a phosphorescent substance that glowed under black light. The new method was "controversial" according to the struggles and never used for ethical reasons. Because you want e.g. Do not discriminate against people suffering from incontinence.
Swimming goggles against red eyes
Urea can therefore be found in every pool, which means that the use of disinfectants will continue to be necessary. But does the combination of chlorine and urine pose a threat to our health? "It depends on the concentration and how sensitive you are," explains Hermann Josef Kahl to the "dpa". Trichloramine can cause difficulty breathing, which can be problematic for people with asthma.
The connection causes irritation to the eyes and mucous membranes in the nose and throat, said the spokesman for the Federal Association of Pediatricians. According to the expert, the dangers would be greater without chlorine. To avoid red eyes, swimming goggles can help and the irritation of the mucous membranes would normally subside, says the pediatrician. (No)