Is Your Beach Safe to Swim In?

How Safe is Your Favorite Beach?

A few weeks ago a new report was released from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). They collected 3,485 samples of water from recreational beaches along both coasts and the Great Lakes region. The report revealed that 10% of the samples collected failed to meet the new federal government safety guidelines. The Great Lakes region was the worst,  with 13% of the beaches in this area failing the test.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), up to 3.5 million people become ill from contact with raw sewage from sanitary overflows each year, resulting in stomach flues, skin rashes, pink eye and other conditions. A few weeks ago we wrote an article about sewage sludge (human waste) and how this was being used as fertilizer. What is actually going into our sewage system is quite concerning and is definitely not something we want to be swimming in.

Children are even more susceptible to picking up illnesses from dirty water because their immune systems are not as developed as that of an adult.  In fact, a child’s immune system in 2014 is probably much less able to fend off  a disease now, than it was 20 years ago. Though there are many reasons for this, an obsessive use of antibacterial soaps and a tragic amount of vaccinations are definitely two of the main offenders.

Finding a Clean Beach

There are still lots of relatively unpolluted beaches around the country, even in highly populated areas. If you would like to find out if your favorite beach is safe, go to this link. Scroll down the page and you will see an interactive map.  Just put in your zip code.   Enjoy your summer and the beach.  Looks like its gonna be a hot one.

 

To your Health!

Peter Gillham