Are you reading this from your mobile device while lounging next to a public swimming pool in Shanghai? If so, put said device down, run to the nearest shower, and rinse. Thoroughly.
The Health Institute of Shanghai has discovered that twenty percent of the city’s public swimming pools contain excessive amounts of urea, a metabolism-aiding chemical compound found in urine, due to children’s habit of releasing furtive pee-clouds in the water.
It gets worse. Apparently no chemical agents can really combat urea, so the only solution to prevent the eye and skin irritation that ammonia-laden urea causes is to change the water on a regular basis.
The researchers chalk the problem up to a lack of good old-fashioned please-for-the-love-of-god-don’t-pee-in-the-swimming-pool discipline, with parents reportedly not teaching their kids the proper pool-based etiquette. More disturbing perhaps are reports that kids aren’t the only guilty ones:
“I have not only seen children pee, but also adults,” said Barbara Li, a white-collar worker. “I don’t know why they don’t feel it’s disgusting.”
The good news is that the 500 Shanghai pools tested showed total bacteria and other contaminant levels to be “less of a problem” than the urea issue, and that only 10 percent of the swimming pools in 24 provinces and cities are rife with urea.
So what’s the deal, folks? What are we going to do about this one, gov? We really hope that these statistics are accurate and don’t downplay the problem. This is an issue that needs to get solved right away, lest Shanghai’s pools become a magnet for urine-fetishists.