After all, does chemical substance denture or not who pees in the pool? – 11/26/2022

With summer approaching, pools at water parks and condominiums become attractions. And it is not uncommon to see signs with the warning that the area has “pee deterrent”, a substance that promises to turn the water blue or red around those who urinate in the water.

But what is the science behind it? Does it really work? Which is Tilt went to investigate with experts after a video recently went viral on Instagram. In the images, the water around a woman is gradually taken by a color dark blueleaving her visibly embarrassed.

The scene also recalled a moment from the movie “Grown Up People (2010)”, when the character Eric Lamonsoff (Kevin James) enters a children’s pool just to pee and ends up “sniffed” by a reagent that detects urine in the water.

After all, does “pee detector” work?

To the frustration of many (and the joy of others), there is no chemical product on the market capable of denouncing those who pee in the water, according to Professor Eduardo Bessa Azevedo, researcher at the Laboratory for the Development of Environmental Technologies at the Institute of Chemistry at Unesp (Paulista State University).

“This is fake. It’s a legend for the child not to do anything wrong in the pool. Sometimes, the parks put the sign saying that they have the reagent, but it is to inhibit people. There is nothing that detects urine in the water”, assure.

Chemistry has advanced, but it hasn’t been able to do that yet. A possible detection in urine is more complex than it seems.

The first point, according to the professor, is the inability to predict which component of the urine the product will react to be placed in the water, as it is not known what could be in the bather’s pee.

Another problem is mixing with chlorine. Even if chemists could guess what is in people’s pee, the mixture of urine with the existing chlorine in the pool would change its chemical structure and would become unknown to the eventual product.

“When the person urinates in the water, the chlorine immediately starts to react with the substances. So, that substance in which I planned to be detected, immediately ceased to exist when it came into contact with the water”, details Azevedo.

There are many different substances in urine and different levels of chlorine in each pool. That is, the developers of a possible product would not be able to figure out what to identify, adds the researcher.

Peeing in the pool is bad

As much as there is no “pee deter”, it’s worth remembering that urinating in the pool is not recommended. In addition to being considered rude, the practice can be harmful to health.

Pee itself is not harmful to health and there are even those who drink it as an alternative therapy. But it is when its substances mix with chlorine that the problem begins, especially when there is a large accumulation of urine with the water, which can lead to irritation in the eyes, ears and skin, and even more serious symptoms, such as intoxication and problems respiratory and cardiac effects in people who come into contact with contaminated water.

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