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One in Five Americans Pee in Pool; Almost Half Admit Unhygienic Pool Behavior
Date:5/14/2009

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Water Quality & Health Council Offer Ways to Curb the Tide of Rising Recreational Water Illnesses

ARLINGTON, Va., May 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Do you know what's in your public pool? Findings from a recent survey show that when it comes to public pools this summer, watch thy fellow swimmer closely! Rather than worry about the availability of lounge chairs, lockers, and food and beverages, swimmers should be thinking more about basic questions of pool water cleanliness.

According to a survey conducted by the Water Quality & Health Council, 84 percent of Americans believe their fellow swimmers participate in unhygienic pool behavior - and they may be right. In fact, almost half (47%) admit to one or more behaviors that contribute to an unhealthy pool.

Peeing in the pool? One in five say they've done it (17%) - and eight in ten (78%) are convinced their fellow swimmers are guilty. As far as showering goes - forget it. Roughly one third (35%) pass the shower without stopping and three quarters (73%) say their fellow swimmers fail to shower before swimming.

Why Worry? Despite strong doubts about their fellow swimmers, only a third (36%) say pool water cleanliness is top of mind when they head to the pool. At the same time, most (63%) are unaware of illnesses associated with swallowing, breathing, or having contact with contaminated pool water. In fact, less than one quarter consider the frequency of pool cleaning and chemical treatment (23%) and even less (16 %) think about chlorine levels to maintain clean pool water.

"Swimming is a fun and healthy activity for old and young alike. Proper water chlorination helps protect swimmers from germs that can make swimmers sick," said Michele Hlavsa, Epidemiologist in the Division of Parasitic Diseases for the Centers for Disease Co
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SOURCE Water Quality & Health Council
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