LOS ANGELES - As the days get hotter, time spent in the water gets longer. But if you swim in a pool, does that mean you don't have to take a bath or shower later?
Two-thirds of Americans reportedly know that pool chemicals do not eliminate the need to shower before swimming. Yet, a new survey by the Water Quality & Health Council found that 51 percent of Americans admit to using swimming as a communal bathtub. People seemingly either swim as a substitute for showering or use the pool to rinse off after exercise and yard work.
The survey comes as experts from the Water Quality & Health Council, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance work to educate the public on healthy and safe swimming.
The debate has spread to social media, where users share their thoughts on the matter with the hashtag #SummerBath. Some people think that chlorine is a substitute for soap, while others expressed their disgust.
"When dirt, sweat, personal care products, and other things on our bodies react with chlorine, there is less chlorine available to kill germs," said Dr. Chris Wiant, chair of the Water Quality & Health Council. "Rinsing off for just 1 minute removes most of the dirt, sweat, or anything else on your body."
Additionally, 40 percent of Americans admit that they have urinated in the pool as an adult. Urine reacts with chlorine, which reduces the amount of chlorine available to kill germs. 53 percent of Americans did not know that pool chemistry can be impacted by makeup, while 55 percent didn't think deodorant had any affect.
"Pools are great places to have fun with friends and family," said Jim Mock, Interim Executive Director of the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance. "A trained pool operator can get the mix of pool chemicals healthy and safe, and swimmers can help keep it right by swimming healthy."