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Over Half of U.S. Beaches Had ‘Potentially Unsafe’ Levels of Poop Contamination Last Year: Report

You might be ready for the beach this summer. But are you ready for some pathogens and unsafe levels of contamination.

It might surprise you further when you learn that the contamination mentioned is fecal contamination. Yes poop.

Environment America’s recent report found that more than half of the beaches tested nationwide had at least one day last year when potentially harmful levels of fecal pollution were detected.

Fecal contamination can come from a variety of sources, including urban runoff, sewage overflows, and factory farms. It can contain pathogens that can cause gastrointestinal illness, respiratory disease, ear and eye infection, and skin rash.

The Gulf Coast had 84% of its beaches with at least one day of unsafe fecal contamination, the highest percentage of all regions. The West Coast had 70%, followed by the Great Lakes (63%), the East Coast (48%), and Alaska and Hawaii (24%)

So before you make that trip to the beach:

  • Check the water quality before you go swimming.
  • Avoid swimming in areas with visible signs of pollution, such as algae blooms or trash.
  • Shower after swimming, especially if you have open wounds.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
  • If you experience any symptoms of illness after swimming, see a doctor right away.
Have fun, be safe, and don’t swallow the water.
Source: People