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:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... HMP , a leader ... a 2017 Folio Magazine Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare Website.’ Winners were ... 11, 2017. , The annual award competition recognizes editorial and design excellence across a ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... On Saturday, October 21, the Health & Wellness Center ... to raise money for the American Heart Association Heart Walk. Teams of up to ... together to keep their treadmills moving for 5 hours. Treadmills will start at 7:00 ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Health ... interactive health literacy software tool, and the Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN), an ... education, today announce a new strategic alliance. , As CPEN’s strategic partner, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... in wound care advancements to physician colleagues, skilled nursing facility medical directors and ... the Treacherous Waters of Wound Care." , "At many of these conferences we ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 ... ... life sciences content management, presents its enhanced Pepper Flow promotional review platform ... -18, 2017. Pepper Flow’s increased insight-driven capabilities help marketers streamline the medical, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/23/2017)... 22, 2017 Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) announced ... from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for ... for the treatment of moderately to severely active rheumatoid ... data are needed to further evaluate the safety of ... RA. "We ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... AVACEN Medical (AVACEN) announced that its CE-Marked ... those with the widespread pain associated with fibromyalgia in ... Essex, England commented, "I had ... no sleep at all, tremendous pain, with every movement ... [the AVACEN 100] enough, how this has and is ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... Ky. , Sept. 19, 2017   ZirMed Inc ... predictive analytics, today announced that it has been ranked #1 ... Black Book™ Rankings 2017 User Survey. ZirMed was ... solution for large hospitals and medical centers over 200 beds ... Black Book,s healthcare technology user survey history. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: