Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Sometimes even the things that we love the most can make us sick - like an enjoyable meal that results in a bout of food poisoning, or that delicious wine that clouds our heads the next day. A nice day at the beach doesn't seem to fit into the same category – unless the water is contaminated.
At 28 beaches along the coast of California, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles and Stanford University found that nearly 1.5 million people could be getting sick from beaches with high bacteria counts, according to an article by the Associated Press. People who get sick experience gastrointestinal illnesses like vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. The study, which was published online in the Environmental Science and Technology journal, credits the bacteria with causing up to $414 million in health care costs.
So the next time that you pack your beach bag, just be aware that although it may be nice to squish the sand between your toes, taking a dip in the salt water may not be worth the consequences of getting water up your nose.