Peeing In the Pool Is Actually Pretty Bad for You

No, peeing in the pool won't magically turn the water around you a different color, but according to a new study there's a much more nefarious chemical reaction at play when you let it flow where the pool toys go.

Scientists were curious about the effects of mixing pee and pools, so they combined uric acid, a byproduct of pee, and chlorine, and found that the two really shouldn't mix.

The combination, according to a new paper in the American Chemical Society's Environmental Science & Technology journal, created two gases that are extremely dangerous to inhale. The first, trichloramine, is a compound associated with lung problems, and the second, cyanogen chloride, is known to affect the lungs, heart, and central nervous system.

Although uric acid is also a byproduct of sweat, scientists say about 90 percent of what they found in pools came from pee.

And making dangerous chemicals with your genitals seems to be a pretty common vice—one in five Americans (including Olympic swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte) openly admit they pee in pools.

[image via Shutterstock]