How To Spot A Contaminated Swimming Pool, And Why You Should

It’s gray and rainy up here in the tropical paradise of upstate New York, but for those of you in more temperate climes, Consumer Reports Health kicks off the weekend with some frightening statistics about the American public’s pool hygiene, and how to tell whether a pool will make you sick or not before you dive in.

A recent survey by the Water Quality and Health Council found that 47 percent of Americans admit to one or more behaviors that contribute to an unhealthy pool. Notably, one in five pee in the pool, and 35 percent skip the pre-swimming shower.

Swimming pool rules_ Hygiene might be lacking in part because 63 percent say they are unaware of the illnesses associated with swallowing, breathing, or having contact with contaminated pool water. Such illnesses-known as recreational water illnesses (RWIs) -have been on the rise over the last couple of decades according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. RWIs can lead to diarrhea, respiratory illness, and ear and skin infections, and can be especially dangerous for children, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.

Maybe we need a massive public information campaign, the centerpiece of which is large posters proclaiming, “DON’T URINATE IN THE DAMN POOL.”

Health Weekender: The good, the bad, and the ‘P’ in the pool [Consumer Reports Health]

(Photo: temponotempo)