We are not strangers to fables, urban legends, or mythical stories. It surprises the number of people who believe in such tall tales. Myths can be rational, functional, structural, and psychological.
Myths can go everywhere, even when it comes to swimming pools. We heard one too many to make us laugh. But behind the funny side of the myth, there is also a serious side that we need to see. Here is where the myth busters of the swimming pool come in.
Pool Myth #1 – Crystal-Clear water – It’s Clean!
Looks can be deceiving, and while a clear-looking pool or lake represents a healthy body of water, it is not always the case. A lot is happening on a microscopic level, like unbalanced pool chemicals or contaminants in the water.
Pool Myth #2 – Green Hair
Really? Chlorine can dry your hair, but copper can turn your hair green. Yes, copper sulfate is a chemical in the water, helping prevent algae from developing; extended exposure can cause the hair to get that green tint.
To avoid dryness or change of hair color is best to wear a swim cap. Also, wash your hair after swimming to get the lingering pool water out of it.
Pool Myth #3 – Urinating
Eh…no! Whoever thinks that the act is harmless, the pool, and everyone around suffers. Urine is a contaminant, and large concentrations create a hazardous environment. Please, use an actual bathroom and save the pool for swimming.
Pool Myth #4: It’s no problem if my kids swallow pool water
Another myth! The amount of chlorine may vary on the number of people and the size of the pool. Also, chlorine does kill waterborne germs, but some are not equally susceptible to chlorine, with some germs taking longer to destroy than others. Some pools are not well cared for as others. Moms should err on the side of caution and discourage children from swallowing pool water. Besides, one in five people admits to urinating in a pool. How’s that for a reason?
Myth #5: “My eyes are red and painful; there’s too much chlorine in the water!!”
Eh……. not true! The chlorine level does not cause irritated eyes or skin, but the pH level and chloramines in the water. Safe pH levels to swim in are between 7.2 and 7.8. However, chlorine works better when it is between 7.0 and 7.2. But be aware that swimmers can notice eye and skin irritation at a 7.0 chlorine level.
Avoid eyes and skin irritations by checking the chemical levels and the smell around for robust-chlorine-like odor for chloramines. For your health and the health of others, shower before entering the pool; it can help reduce the byproducts of disinfection created by chloramines.
Myth #6: “You can contract COVID-19 in the water!!”
Nope! A well-kept, properly chlorinated pool is safe for swimming. Reputable organizations like CDC and the World Health Organization recommend 15mg per liter of chlorine to kill viruses. At even lower levels, it would inactivate an enveloped virus such as Covid-19.
On the other hand, it is best to avoid crowded areas, including crowded swimming pools. Keep a six-foot distance from people who sneeze or cough, even in a swimming area. Also, take a shower before and after swimming in a pool.