Half of Americans admit using swimming pool in lieu of shower

By Ashley Welch

/ CBS News

With summer right around the corner, Americans are ready to kick off a season of sunshine and swimming. But before you jump into the water, beware: a new report exposes some bad habits that contribute to dirty swimming pools.

The survey found that more than half of U.S. adults use a swimming pool as a sort of communal bathtub, admitting to swimming as a substitutefor showeringor using the pool to rinse off after exercise or yardwork. They do so even though two-thirds of those surveyed reported knowing that pool chemicals do not eliminate the need to shower before swimming.

"When dirt, sweat, personal care products, and other things on our bodies react with chlorine, there is less chlorine available to kill germs," Dr. Chris Wiant, chair of the Water Quality & Health Council, said in a statement. "Rinsing off for just one minute removes most of the dirt, sweat, or anything else on your body."

6 gross facts about swimming pools

The report, conducted online by Sachs Media Group, surveyed 3,100 American adults. It also found 40% of Americans admit to peeing in the pool as an adult. Experts warn that urine reacts with chlorine, reducing the amount of the chemical available to kill germs.

Trending News

"The bottom line is: Don't pee in the pool," said Michele Hlavsa, chief of the CDC's Healthy Swimming program. "Swimming is a great way to be physically active and not peeing in the pool is a key healthy swimming step."

The survey revealed even more nasty findings. Almost a quarter of Americans said they'd go in a swimming pool within one hour of having diarrhea and 48% said they never shower before swimming.

The CDC advises all swimmers stay out of the pool if they have diarrhea, as this can contaminate the pool with feces and germs, which can make others sick. Everyone should also rinse off before entering a swimming pool.

When it comes to making sure the water is safe to swim in, the CDC recommends taking matters into your own hands. Pool-goers can use a test strip — available at most pool-supply stores, or free on the Water Quality and Health Council's Healthy Pools campaign website — to determine if the pH and free chlorine or bromine concentration are correct. The CDC recommends the following levels:

First published on May 15, 2019 / 5:49 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Ashley Welch

Ashley Welch covers health and wellness for CBSNews.com

Twitter 6 gross facts about swimming pools

Half of Americans use swimming pool in lieu of shower

A new report exposes some bad habits in America's swimming pools

10M ago

New service sells brand-name products without plastic containers

The Environmental Protection Agency says only about 9 percent of the plastic created in the U.S. is recycled

40M ago

Trump signs executive order banning tech posing a security risk

Although the order doesn't mention China, the executive order is mainly focused on actions by that country

43M ago

Trump files annual financial disclosure report

The president isn't handing over his tax returns, but he has filed his annual financial disclosure report

48M ago

Macy's warns more China tariffs would hit its customers

CEO Jeff Gennette's appraisal put a damper on the retailer's first-quarter results, which smashed expectations

50M ago

Trump signs executive order banning tech posing a security risk

Although the order doesn't mention China, the executive order is mainly focused on actions by that country

43M ago

Trump files annual financial disclosure report

The president isn't handing over his tax returns, but he has filed his annual financial disclosure report

48M ago

Trump could win trade battle with China but lose the war

While the president's hardball stance has brought China to the table, experts fear his rhetoric could drive them away

1H ago

2020 Democratic candidates sound off on Alabama abortion ban

Democratic presidential hopefuls say the state's near-total abortion ban puts abortion rights in jeopardy nationwide

1H ago

Trump to unveil immigration plan that's still light on specifics

"Right now this is the Trump plan. We're hoping this will become the Republican plan," a senior administration official told reporters Wednesday

updated 8M ago

Trump could win trade battle with China but lose the war

While the president's hardball stance has brought China to the table, experts fear his rhetoric could drive them away

1H ago

Jacinda Ardern questions U.S. gun laws

"Australia experienced a massacre and changed their laws. New Zealand had its experience and changed its laws"

2H ago

In climate change fight, few global cities get an "A"

A new ranking lets anyone see how nearly 600 cities are faring in their efforts to keep earth from overheating

6H ago

First look at Scotty, the largest T. rex ever found

The massive creature weighed an estimated 20,000 pounds — about 8,000 more than the average T. rex

7H ago

U.K. talk show cancelled after guest's reported suicide

"The Jeremy Kyle Show," a similar format to U.S.'s Jerry Springer, scrapped after man's death following lie detector test over cheating on fiancee

7H ago

"Chilling similarities" in Cosby accusers' testimony, judge says

The comedian is appealing his sex assault conviction in part based on testimony about the uncharged allegations

55M ago

New on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon

Shows and movies you'll want to stream in May

Apr 26 36 photos

Nike "not backing up what they are preaching," Olympian says

Alysia Montaño is calling out the sports industry and sponsors for allegedly discriminating against pregnant athletes

5H ago

Met Gala 2019: Red carpet looks

See what all your favorite celebrities wore to fashion's biggest night

May 6 80 photos

"Black Mirror" unveils new trailer featuring Miley Cyrus

Black Mirror will have "three new stories" for its upcoming season

5H ago

Trump signs executive order banning tech posing a security risk

Although the order doesn't mention China, the executive order is mainly focused on actions by that country

43M ago

Global Learning XPRIZE: $10M to be awarded for literacy software

The contest's goal is help illiterate children teach themselves to read and write using software on tablets

8H ago

Facebook to bar some rules breakers from livestreaming

One-strike-you're-out policy follows the livestreamed massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand

12H ago

San Francisco bans facial recognition technology

The face ID ban will apply to San Francisco city departments, but not to personal, business or federal use

updated 44M ago

U.S. says Uber drivers are independent contractors, not employees

The National Labor Relations Board released its opinion on the controversial matter of Uber drivers' classification

May 14

SpaceX launch kick-starts space-based internet

The first batch of 60 SpaceX Starlink satellites will serve as a test of the company's ambitious internet plans

2H ago

The meatless meat market is sizzling for investors

The most buzzed-about products in the meatless market taste just like the real thing — and investors are taking notice

3H ago

Climate-change investing moves beyond oil companies

Investors are pushing companies of all sorts — from retailers to restaurants — to reveal how they contribute to climate change

5H ago

In climate change fight, few global cities get an "A"

A new ranking lets anyone see how nearly 600 cities are faring in their efforts to keep earth from overheating

6H ago

First look at Scotty, the largest T. rex ever found

The massive creature weighed an estimated 20,000 pounds — about 8,000 more than the average T. rex

7H ago

Half of Americans use swimming pool in lieu of shower

A new report exposes some bad habits in America's swimming pools

10M ago

The Met will no longer accept Sackler family money

NY's Metropolitan Museum of Art distancing itself from Sackler patrons amid allegations they fueled opioid crisis

3H ago

The meatless meat market is sizzling for investors

The most buzzed-about products in the meatless market taste just like the real thing — and investors are taking notice

3H ago

ACLU files lawsuit challenging Ohio's abortion ban

Ohio is one of four states that passed so-called "heartbeat" bills this year, though none have been successfully implemented

5H ago

Want to help prevent dementia? Follow these new guidelines

Although age is the top risk factor, "dementia is not a natural or inevitable consequence of aging," new report from the World Health Organizations says

5H ago

New service sells brand-name products without plastic containers

The Environmental Protection Agency says only about 9 percent of the plastic created in the U.S. is recycled

40M ago

Trump signs executive order banning tech posing a security risk

Although the order doesn't mention China, the executive order is mainly focused on actions by that country

43M ago

Macy's warns more China tariffs would hit its customers

CEO Jeff Gennette's appraisal put a damper on the retailer's first-quarter results, which smashed expectations

50M ago

Trump could win trade battle with China but lose the war

While the president's hardball stance has brought China to the table, experts fear his rhetoric could drive them away

1H ago

Abigail Disney tells House committee CEO Bob Iger's $65M pay is "a moral issue"

Disney heiress decries wages for Disney workers that in contrast "cannot support a single person much less a family"

updated 48M ago

Elderly man dies after being pushed off bus

A woman has been arrested and charged with open murder of an elderly-vulnerable person

51M ago

"Chilling similarities" in Cosby accusers' testimony, judge says

The comedian is appealing his sex assault conviction in part based on testimony about the uncharged allegations

55M ago

Man who threatened Boston Globe journalists pleads guilty

Robert Chain faces five years in prison per count, adding up to 35 years

1H ago

Student sues Georgetown over potential expulsion in admissions scandal

One of the students involved in the college admissions scandal is suing Georgetown University after it threatened to punish him

1H ago

Jayme Closs honored as "hometown hero" in award ceremony

The 13-year-old appeared with family and friends to receive her honor on Wednesday

1H ago

SpaceX launch kick-starts space-based internet

The first batch of 60 SpaceX Starlink satellites will serve as a test of the company's ambitious internet plans

2H ago

NASA wants to send first woman to the moon

NASA is gearing up to send American astronauts back to the moon by 2024, and it hopes to include a woman for the first time. The Trump administration has asked Congress to approve an additional $1.6 billion for NASA's budget. CBS News space consultant Bill Harwood joined CBSN to discuss the ambitious plans.

May 14 04:35

NASA vows to make ambitious plan to return to the moon "a reality"

The newly announced Artemis program, named after the Greek goddess of the moon, intends to land astronauts on the South Pole of the moon by 2024

May 14

Trump backs early moon landing with funding request

Trump administration asks Congress to kick-start NASA moon mission with $1.6 billion in additional 2020 funding

May 14

Shrinking moon may be causing "moonquakes"

NASA says the moon is shrinking and it may be creating so-called "moonquakes." Scientists say the moon's interior is cooling and causing it to shrivel up like a raisin. The shrinking has caused ridges on the moon's surface called "thrust faults" — where one section of crust is pushed up over a neighboring part. Scientists now believe those faults are to blame for the tremors.

May 14 00:44

Britain's royal great-grandchildren

Prince Harry's new baby Archie is the eighth great-grandchild for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip

May 8 9 photos

Met Gala 2019: Red carpet looks

See what all your favorite celebrities wore to fashion's biggest night

May 6 80 photos

Dale Pike murder: Evidence photos in the case against Enrico Forti

In 1998, Dale Pike came to Miami to discuss a business deal with Enrico Forti — the next day he was dead, and Forti was the prime suspect

May 3 17 photos

Worst movie sequels since 2000, ranked

These are the lowest-rated sequels this century, according to Metacritic's rankings

Apr 30 51 photos

Private secrets shared via postcard

Since 2004, hundreds of thousands of anonymous contributors with something to get off their chest have sent postcards to the website PostSecret.com

Apr 28 32 photos

Popular

San Francisco bans facial recognition technology

San Francisco has become the first U.S. city to ban the use of facial recognition software for police and other public agencies. The Washington Post's national technology reporter Drew Harwell, who covers artificial intelligence, joined CBSN to discuss the implications.

2H ago 03:18

Elderly man dies after being pushed off bus

Surveillance footage released this week by Las Vegas police shows a woman pushing a 74-year-old man off of a bus last month. The man later died and the woman, identified as Cadesha Bishop, is facing a murder charge.

2H ago 00:41

Caught on camera: Chopper crash in NYC

A man visiting New York City captured footage of a helicopter crashing into the Hudson River off Manhattan on Wednesday afternoon. CBSN New York has details.

1H ago 00:43

The problem with America's slumping birth rate

Births fell to a 32-year low last year as women wait to start families and teen births decline. That drop could slow future economic growth and strain the long-term finances behind Social Security and Medicare.

2H ago 01:06

Helicopter crashes in NYC's Hudson River

A helicopter crashed into the Hudson River near Manhattan on Wednesday afternoon. The chopper's pilot is OK and no passengers were on board. CBS News' David Begnaud reports from the scene.

1H ago 02:18