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Spit or Swallow? BC Man urges crackdown on public pool spitting.


Stanky Legs

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if you live in Richmond, you have probably experienced this, gunk ending up on your foot in one of those pools. Some people have had enough and want crackdown on the sputters. It's cultural thing. So my question to you is, it is considered racist if you label Chinese immigrants as the guilty party? Should the actions of the few, represent the many. Do you encourage swallowing in lieu of spitting?

From The Province:

Arguing that his local pool is awash with people spitting into showers and hawking into pool grates, a Richmond, B.C., man is urging a city crackdown on public expectoration.

“I’ve talked to people that will not go to that facility because of all the spitting,” said Greg Clackson, a 15-year user of the Minoru Aquatic Centre.

“I don’t want to be swimming lengths and have somebody’s snot wrapping around my throat.”

Clackson said he’s ended up with mucus on the bottom of his sandals; he’s seen high spots in the shower splattered with dried spit; and he’s observed swimmers punctuate their laps by leaning out of the pool to blow phlegm into a drain.

“There has to be more enforcement,” he said, adding that while the facility is heavily placarded with signs prohibiting “spitting or nose clearing,” it has had almost no effect.

And he suggests the fix would be relatively easy: more signs, no-spitting warnings for new members and the threat of pool bans for repeat spitters.

“Everyone knows it’s a huge problem (but) people are scared to talk about this,” he said.

The issue is indeed sensitive in Metro Vancouver, because many of the spitters are recent immigrants from China, where spitting does not carry the same cultural taboo as in Canada.

In China and several other Asian cultures, spitting is seen as normal and even healthy.

“For many in China … it is clear from my observations, little attention is still paid to spitting and as such, it is for them, of little consequence,” reads a 2013 research blog by Ross Coomber, a professor at the University of Plymouth who has studied spitting culture in Asia.

In his travel notes, Coomber recounted how after a presentation to the University of Shanghai, a student asked what Westerners do when they need to clear their throat.

“My response that ‘you swallow’ was met with a combination of (mild) disbelief/disgust,” he wrote.

Similarly, many Asians are disgusted by the Western practice of spewing snot into tissues or handkerchiefs.

Almost since Vancouver’s founding, Canadians of European descent and Asians in the Lower Mainland have clashed over the issue of expectoration.

In the early 20th century, for instance, Vancouver newspapers contained incredulous accounts of workers in Chinese-Canadian laundries squirting water from their mouths to moisten clothes for ironing. The practice ended after a civic bylaw mandated the use of squirt cans.

City of Richmond spokesman Ted Townsend told the National Post that after “recent public input,” the spitting issue has been placed on the agenda for the Richmond Aquatic Services Board, which will examine it in February.

“This issue has been around for many years,” said Townsend. “It’s also an issue that most other aquatic centres deal with at one time or another, not simply a Richmond issue.”

Despite popular perceptions that spitting is an “unsanitary” practice, there is little evidence that saliva is a risk for transmitting diseases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga., does not advocate barrier protection for doctors dealing with spit, and the general harmlessness of saliva has even been tested before the Canadian courts.

“When we in the justice system perpetuate this myth without question, without evidence of the risk, without any fact-based analysis, we are feeding into this irrational anxiety,” reads a 2012 case involving a Saskatchewan woman who had spit repeatedly on police officers.

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As someone who works in a pool:  Please god please don't friggin spit in the pool/on the deck.

I've seen too many people literally hock loogies right into the pool.  The visual of it it frackin' gross.  I tell people off when I see them do it.

And this is coming from someone who is well aware that I'm essentially working in a urine/water concoction.

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Into the pool is disgusting, but whatever in the shower (so long as you're smart about it, it should wash down the drain anyway, and who doesn't wear cheap flip flops in a public shower). It's a grey area for the pool grates, which should get washed with overflow water - but then where does that feed too? Does it feed back into the pool water supply?

Regardless, short of the thick phlegm, there's plenty of saliva in the pool whatever you do.

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4 minutes ago, elvis15 said:

Into the pool is disgusting, but whatever in the shower (so long as you're smart about it, it should wash down the drain anyway, and who doesn't wear cheap flip flops in a public shower). It's a grey area for the pool grates, which should get washed with overflow water - but then where does that feed too? Does it feed back into the pool water supply?

Regardless, short of the thick phlegm, there's plenty of saliva in the pool whatever you do.

Many people don't wash it down.  They just let it sit there.

A lot of what ends up in the pool grates can get caught along in it, then get pulled back into the pool when the overflow runs up it.  What gets into the grates is filtered before it is fed back into the pool supply, so at that point it's fine, but the fact is not all of what get's spat towards the grates will actually avoid getting washed back into the pool unfiltered.

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So glad I don't swim there.  Not to say the pool I go to is pristine, but I've actually never seen anyone actually spit as described here.

 

i do laps a few days a week. Water ends up in your mouth sometimes and ye gotta spit it out.  But I don't dredge up the lung butter and spit it out.

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Yeah, I'd rather they stayed with a minimal safe amount of chlorine. That already wreaks havoc with your hair and skin as is, imaging if it was doubled?

1 hour ago, riffraff said:

So glad I don't swim there.  Not to say the pool I go to is pristine, but I've actually never seen anyone actually spit as described here.

 

i do laps a few days a week. Water ends up in your mouth sometimes and ye gotta spit it out.  But I don't dredge up the lung butter and spit it out.

Same here. There's bound to be saliva but I don't think that's the part people find gross. I wouldn't want to step in thick phlegm either.

But certainly not into spitting in the pool or the area around it like what's described. Better out than in but don't be an ass about it and make it gross for others.

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7 minutes ago, etsen3 said:

Honestly spit is probably not even in the top 5 for most disgusting substances in the pool

 

Not that people should be hocking loogies into the pool though.

Spit may not be as disgusting as other substances in a public pool but saliva caries diseases/germs etc.  A simple gob could contain something seriously harmful.

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12 hours ago, Hugor Hill said:

They need to enforce this. I would never swim in a pool where people spit into.

I don't even want to walk on pavement knowing someone had spat on it before.

Do you do crowds?

Do you breathe the air knowing that it was just in other people's lungs/airways/mouths?

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2 hours ago, riffraff said:

Spit may not be as disgusting as other substances in a public pool but saliva caries diseases/germs etc.  A simple gob could contain something seriously harmful.

You apparently missed the last bit of the OP:

Quote

Despite popular perceptions that spitting is an “unsanitary” practice, there is little evidence that saliva is a risk for transmitting diseases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga., does not advocate barrier protection for doctors dealing with spit, and the general harmlessness of saliva has even been tested before the Canadian courts.

 

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  • 2 months later...

Richmond is the only city I have ever seen a 'no spitting in public fountain' signs.  And were not talking a simple note on a piece of paper, these are legit metal made signs. 

 

I want to swim so bad, it seems like the ultimate workout but I don't use public pools for fears I might lose my hair from the chrolene .  This won't help either.

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