Written By: Ivey Ingalls-Rubin
Finally the stats are in! YES! It is A-Okay to urinate in the ocean! Have you ever been one of those individuals that quietly wades away from their swimming partner and has a wee? Well the pressure to feel guilt is over my friend; the American Chemical Society (ACS) has divulged that the components of urine pose absolutely no threat to life in the ocean, and if anything “can be beneficial.” They do however, make sure to add that peeing in enclosed areas, such as pools is a definite no-no. (What a bummer.)
The first, and most important reason the ACS has given the go ahead ( like you haven’t been doing it already) is that urine is mostly water, with an average human’s urine being composed of about 95% water, with a little sodium and chloride ions as well.
In comparison, sea water is a bit over 96% water, and also contains sodium and chloride ions, though in much higher concentration.
Both urine and sea water also contain potassium, all in all urine isn’t going to radically alter sea water in any of the surrounding areas.
The last two factors at play are urea and nitrogen. Urea which is the main waste product in urine and nitrogen which combines with water to produce ammonium.
The amount of urea released per person, especially in proportion to an entire ocean, is miniscule. Even if every single person in the world used the ocean as a toilet, there would still be a tiny 60 parts per trillion of urea in the water.
In addition urea contains quite a bit of nitrogen. Nitrogen paired with water results in ammonium, which in turn feeds ocean plant life—meaning it’s actually beneficial.
Just to put in perspective, every single animal that lives in the ocean, must do what in the ocean? Use the bathroom! For example a whale, can let out 970 liters of urine PER day.
So, you’re not hurting anyone whilst peeing in the ocean, just disgusting your friends, which most likely isn’t anything new for them.
To watch the video please follow this link: http://www.refinery29.com/2014/08/73431/ocean-peeing-video