Summer is ruined because we know why our eyes get red in the pool

(It's pee pee)

By Joanna Rothkopf
Published June 25, 2015 4:00PM (EDT)
      (<a href=''>Andrey Armyagov</a> via <a href=''>Shutterstock</a>)
(Andrey Armyagov via Shutterstock)

Have you ever gone swimming in a pool and gotten out with reddish, bloodshot eyes? Of course you have. Everyone has. And we all assume it's because of chlorine.

Nope, it's pee pee.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's annual healthy swimming report, eye redness is caused by chlorine mixing with pee and sweat in the pool.

"The nitrogen in the urine combines with with the chlorine and it forms what's known as chloramine and it's actually chloramine that causes the red eyes," said Michele Hlavsa, chief of the CDC's healthy swimming program, in an interview on the Today Show. "It's not the chlorine itself. It's chlorine mixed with poop and sweat and a lot of other things we bring into the water with us."

The traditional chlorine smell we all associate with pools isn't even pure chlorine. The report reads: "What you smell are actually chemicals that form when chlorine mixes with pee, poop, sweat and dirt from swimmers bodies... These chemicals -- not chlorine -- can cause your eyes to get red and sting, make your nose run, and make you cough."

Now close your eyes and think about how many times you've opened your mouth while underwater.

Joanna Rothkopf

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Centers For Disease Control And Prevention Health Pee Pee Pool Poop Summer Swimming Urine