(Newser) - Peeing in the pool: gross, sure, but no real harm done? Think again. Researchers at Purdue and China Agricultural universities recently studied what happens when urine meets water containing chlorine and other chemicals-and they found that two potentially dangerous chemical byproducts are formed, Discover reports.
The uric acid in urine reacts with the chlorine to form cyanogen chloride and thrichloramine, which can affect the lungs, heart, central nervous system, and other organs if inhaled. io9 reports that the researchers also dosed water already containing those compounds with more uric acid, and found the cyanogen chloride level rose as a result.
Per the study, "Uric acid ... accounted for 24% to 68% (depending on temperature, water pH and chlorine condition) of the byproduct cyanogen chloride in the pool water samples."
Both chemicals have been linked to health problems experienced by swimmers, lifeguards, and pool staff, reports Quartz, which points to a 2012 survey that found 19% of adults cop to having peed in a public pool.
If you don't count yourself among the group of offenders, you may be contributing to the problem anyway: Philly.com cites previous studies that suggest swimmers typically "drip out" as much as two shot glasses of urine when swimming.
(On the flip side, read about the group that thinks cow urine is a miracle cure.)
Newser is a USA TODAY content partner providing general news, commentary and coverage from around the Web. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.
You may also like...
Underwater Secret: Hidden caves beneath Weeki Wachee
Rollercoaster Rescue: 16 stranded after ride malfunction
Car Crash tragedy: USF students killed in interstate wrong-way crash
Hungry Sinkhole: Hole opens beneath Corvette museum, swallows 8 cars
Be my McValentine: Romantic reservations at McDonald's
Card Game Murder: Man sentenced for Magic: The Gathering killing
Treason? Secret Service visits candidate who says Obama should hang
Sasquatch on Tour: "Dead Bigfoot" on display in Texas
Here kitty, kitty: Lion escapes enclosure at Pasco sanctuary
#ShortYellows: Florida quietly shortened yellow lights
Kittens shot: Officer shoots kittens in front of children
Popular photo galleries:
Faces of Meth: Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers
Trayvon Martin Shooting: Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos
Hooters Winners: Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant
Rejected: Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV ***warning graphic***
Deadly sinkhole: Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole
Florida Sex Offenders: Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here
Restaurant Inspections: Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here