Designed to help Muslim women enjoy the beach without compromising their modest dress code, the full-body swimsuit, known as the burkini, has caused quite the controversy during the past year.
Some people have been finding it hard to accept women who opt for full-body swimsuits, with many opponents using safety and hygiene reasons to justify their disapproval.
Burkini-wearing women have been asked to leave beaches and public pools on several occasions, and the discrimination against them seems to boil down to overall intolerance of Muslims in non-Muslim communities and of the relatively-new concept of the burkini.
Well, to all the "burkini-phobes" out there, and to those who are simply hesitant to accept that burkinis are totally pool-friendly, it turns out that modest swimwear is not only safe and hygienic but might even be safer than bikinis.
According to a document released by the Life Saving Society - a group of lifeguarding experts working to prevent drowning and water-related injury through training programs, safety management services and research - modest swimwear qualifies as safe and hygienic.
The Life Saving Society notes that its comments are based on standards suggested by reputable organizations.
The Life Saving Society regards burkinis as an acceptable alternative swimwear so long that it is tight enough that it does not impede people's ability to swim. The organization also notes that full-body swimwear contributes to improved water quality.
There is an additional value if hair and skin are covered
"There is an additional element of hygiene if hair is covered," writes the Life Saving Society, explaining that head-coverings reduce the risk of getting hair trapped in drains or filters and are likely to have a "positive effect on water treatment systems".
The document notes that modest swimwear can play a role in decreasing contaminants in outdoor pools and contribute to improved water quality, as covering the whole body could result in the reduced use of sunscreen.
So, it seems as though less body exposure means improved water quality ... you might want to start thinking twice before complaining about women in burkinis.