SCIENCE
08/19/2014 04:13 pm ET Updated Aug 19, 2014

Here's Why It's OK To Pee In The Ocean (Like You Were Gonna Stop)

Feel guilty about going wee in the sea? Don't! As a fun new video from the American Chemical Society explains, "It's absolutely OK to go in the ocean."

The video, just released on the society's "Reactions" YouTube channel, points out that human urine is more than 95 percent water, and that its sodium and chloride content poses no threat to seawater or the plants and animals that live in it.

Not convinced? Get this: If everybody in the world urinated in the Atlantic Ocean -- all 350 quintillion liters of it -- then the ratio of urea (the key waste product in urine) to ocean would be 60 parts per trillion, according to the video.

Urine is harmless stuff in the first place and is diluted to the point of insignificance within minutes. There are far more harmful things in the ocean to worry about," biochemist Stuart Jones told science writer Lauren Wolf in 2013. Wolf is credited with inspiring the idea for the video.

And it's a good thing, too, since lots of people are relieving themselves in the sea. According to a recent survey, 62 percent admit to peeing in the ocean (with "admit" being the operative word).

So if you have to go ...


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