Navigation Links
Germs Hold Court in Sand Castles
Date:7/14/2009

It's safer to keep beach underfoot than to dig in it, survey finds

TUESDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- Beware of the dangers that lurk in sand castles, researchers warn.

Scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found that beachgoers who build sand castles and play in the sand are at higher risk of developing diarrhea and gastrointestinal diseases than folks who avoid digging in the sand.

And if you bury yourself in sand, you're at even higher risk, according to the study, which was recently published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

"Beach sand can contain indicators of fecal contamination," said Chris Heaney, lead study author and a postdoctoral student of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina. "This is one of the first studies to show an association between specific sand contact activities and illnesses," he explained in a news release from the university.

Heaney and the other researchers used data from more than 27,000 people who participated in the National Epidemiological and Environmental Assessment of Recreational Water Study. The beachgoers were interviewed at seven marine and freshwater sites, all of them within a few miles of sewage plant discharges. The actual source of the infectious sand, however, was not known and may have included local runoff and animal contamination.

The survey asked people how much and what kind of contact they had with sand during a recent beach visit. Two weeks later, the researchers interviewed them again to see if they experienced any disease symptoms.

About 13 percent of the respondents who dug in the sand, built sand castles and the like reported gastrointestinal troubles. But the number rose to 23 percent for people who reported covering themselves in sand. The researchers also found evidence of rashes, earaches, infected cuts, eye ailments and upper respiratory illnesses.

The study authors cautioned the public not to be too concerned about the study findings; after all, millions of Americans visit beaches every summer, and the amount of actual infection was less than 10 percent in any age group, said Heaney.

Still, beachgoers can take some precautions after playing in the sand. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer, said Tim Wade, an EPA epidemiologist and the study's senior author.

Wade added: "People should not be discouraged from enjoying sand at the beach."

More information

Read more about some of the types of bacteria found in beach sand at the Surfrider Foundation.



-- Peter West



SOURCE: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, news release, July 9, 2009


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. USC Chemical Engineer Launches Virucide, Bactericidal That Can Kill 99.9% of Germs and Help Combat Swine Flu
2. SkinWear(TM) Hand Cleaner & Sanitizer Kills Germs That May Cause Swine Flu, Protects Against Germs for Up to Eight Hours
3. Field of germs
4. Low Humidity Levels Help Flu Germs Spread
5. In the World of Germs, Man Bites Dog
6. No Germs, No Fires, No Mess: New Product Makes Good Health Easy and Natural
7. To Protect Yourself, Wash Those Germs Away
8. SafetyTies Keep Getting Safer: Newest Neckties Reduce the Spread of Germs and Stylishly Feature the Microbes They Fight
9. Live Chickens on Trucks Could Transmit Dangerous Germs
10. Holidays are Haven for Germs
11. Womens Hands Home to More Types of Germs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Germs Hold Court in Sand Castles
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... Pharmacy (SOP) alumni Hannah Randall, PharmD ‘17, and Jennifer Huggins, PharmD ’17, ... guideline updates for the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases during the 15th ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes , which specializes in the ... facility as part of a disaster drill on October 3rd. , Apple Rehab participated ... Emergency Manager, as well as the Connecticut Long Term Care Mutual Aid Plan ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... N.J. (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... The ... Holly Day Market. Featuring a collection of specialty vendors and unique items from across ... personalized and quality-focused health and wellness services offered by the VNA. The boutique ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run brought out many kids this ... by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed at getting kids excited about ... ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is all about having fun and ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented host, actor ... on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which is an award-winning ... innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/23/2017)... HORSHAM, Pa. , Sept. 22, 2017 ... received a complete response letter from the U.S. Food ... (BLA) seeking approval of sirukumab for the treatment of ... response letter indicates additional clinical data are needed to ... of moderately to severely active RA. ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... Sept. 22, 2017 AVACEN Medical (AVACEN) announced ... now successfully helping those with the widespread pain associated ... diagnosed Amanda in Essex, England ... my hair, experiencing no sleep at all, tremendous pain, ... I cannot recommend [the AVACEN 100] enough, how this ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... 2017   ZirMed Inc ., a recognized leader in ... it has been ranked #1 by its users for the ... 2017 User Survey. ZirMed was recognized as the top-ranked end-to-end ... medical centers over 200 beds and holds one of the ... survey history. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: