Ever thought about how a crowd of people can bathe in the same water? As gross as it sounds, this is exactly what happens in pools. Then again, pool water contains chlorine, a powerful disinfectant, so you should really not worry about the pathogens that all the half-naked participants bring into the water, no?
Alas, the truth is that despite the presence of a disinfectant and the use of swimsuits which are specially designed to bring less pathogens into the water, pools are filled with pathogens which can cause infections and damage health.
Studies reveal that among other kinds of bacteria that are not killed off by chlorine, poop particles can also be found in this water. Guess swimming, one of the easiest and most-effective exercises out there, is not as safe as it should be.
What Did These Studies Find?
Researchers linked to the Centers for Disease Control inspected public pools all over the States so as to conclude whether or not they were safe from germs. Unfortunately, results of these studies showed that diving into the pool is not as safe as many believe it to be. In fact, despite the presence of chlorine, swimming pools still have particles of poop, tolerant pathogens, and harmful bacteria roaming freely and causing infections.
In fact, pools may contain even more harmful pathogens than normal water which makes one question the disinfectants presense in them. From 2000 to 2014, about 5000 medical cases caused because of the presence of tolerant bugs have happened. Talking about the poop that can be found in these public pools, particles of it are both visible as well as invisible. These have been found to be the main cause of transmission of infections.
The Cryptosporidium parasite which comes from people’s poop particles has been found to be associated to a number of serious health problems. In short, while chlorine does a lot of the cleaning, there are still a lot of germs left in the water.
Health Risks Of Swimming Pools
Chlorine is added to swimming pools because it has proved to be relatively cheap and effective way to disinfect pools. However, it is itself an irritant which is why the chemical is only added in particular amount. Overuse is not recommended. Moreover, regardless of how strong a disinfectant is, some pathogens will still not be cleared.
Where do these pathogens come from? Not only humans, but also from their clothing (this is one of the reasons swimwear is worn) and also from the environment, that is, fungal growth, bird droppings, etc. Some common health risks associated with swimming pools include the following:
- Legionnaires’ disease
- The influenza virus
- Athletes Foot
To sum up, the swimming pool isn’t as safe as you may believe it to be. While chlorine can disinfect several pathogen types, some resistant ones may be still left. These can cause and transmit infections and diseases.