Tags: disposable diapers, plastic particles, public swimming pool, Recreational Water Illness, reusable diapers, swim diapers, Water Born Disease, weakened immune system
My pool and spa business serviced an account that taught babies how to swim. But try as we might, the water in his above ground swimming pool was a nightmare. Why? Here’s the math:
10 Babies in 10 Swim Diapers = A Sanitary Nightmare
Yes, swim diapers help slow down the release of disease-causing germs, but only for a short time. In fact, the common cause of a recreational water illness (RWI) is cryptosporidium (crypto). You don’t want it visiting your innards, especially if you are a little kid, or pregnant, or have a weakened immune system.
Crypto is the single largest threat to pool users. Where does it come from? D-I-A-R-R-H-E-A. (Just another reason why you will never catch me in a public swimming pool—even if climate change gives summer 3 months of 3-digit heat.)
One would hope that if one is suffering from such a poopy circumstance, that one would have the common sense to stay out of a swimming pool. One would hope. Babies, on the other hand, are just kind of a runny mess anyway, if you get my drift.
Here’s the dope: Researchers measured the amount of microsphere that released from swim diapers worn by children. The microspheres were plastic particles that have a similar size 9five microns) to that of crypto. Normal swim trunks, common disposable diapers and reusable diapers with and without vinyl diaper covers were tested. Swimming trunks without a swim diaper of any kind had the poorest performance; almost 90% of the microspheres were released into the water within one minute. YUCKY.
Swim diapers released at least 50% of the microspheres within one minute. Placement of a vinyl diaper cover over a disposable swim diaper slightly improved performance. But, in all cases, 25% or more of the microspheres were detected in the water within two minutes.
Here’s the kicker: “When a fecal accident contains about a billion disease-causing crypto oocysts, hundreds of millions of oocysts get into the water within minutes. The retention of diarrhea in swim diapers is very short-lived. Swimmers only need to ingest about 10 crypto oocysts to become infected,” said Dr. James Amburgey, one of the researchers from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.
BTW, crypto can’t be seen by the naked eye and it’s “highly” resistant to chlorine.
(Thanks to a back issue of The IPSSAN for this story.)