It’s not the sun, it’s the SAND – Who would have thought it? Children and adults who buildcastles and dig in the sand at the beach are at greater riskof developing gastrointestinal diseases and diarrhea thanpeople who only walk on the shore or swim in the surf.

People who playfully bury their bodies in the sand are ateven greater risk. Children, who are more likely than adultsto play with and possibly get sand in their mouths, standthe greatest chance of becoming ill after a day at the beach.Researcher Chris Heaney says, “This is one of the firststudies to show an association between specific sand contactactivities and illnesses.”

The problem is fecal contamination that washes onshore. But where does it come from? The study is based on interviews with more than 27,000 people who visited seven freshwater andmarine beaches between 2003 and 2005 as well as in 2007. Allbeaches in the study had sewage treatment plant dischargeswithin seven miles, although the source of sand pollutionwas unknown and could have included urban runoff as well aswild and domestic animal contamination. Water quality at thebeaches was within acceptable limits.

Researcher Tim Wade says, “We have known for some time thatswimming in waters polluted by fecal contamination canresult in illness, but few previous studies have focused onsand. People should not be discouraged from enjoying sand atthe beach, but should take care to use a hand sanitizer orwash their hands after playing in the sand.”

(Sigh) There always seems to be another reasonnot to havesummer fun! But we know a SAFE way toenjoyyourself and it has to do with the way this website works:Regularlisteners only have access to a month of shows, butsubscribers can listen (and re-listen) for an entire year.They also get a special subscriber interview every week justfor them and can also download shows to an MP3 disc so theycan listen away from their computers, like on the beach!They also get 10% offeverything inour store, and all for less than a latte a month ($39.99 aYEAR), so what are you waiting for?Subscribe today!

Art credit:

NOTE: This news story, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.

Dreamland Video podcast
To watch the FREE video version on YouTube, click here.

Subscribers, to watch the subscriber version of the video, first log in then click on Dreamland Subscriber-Only Video Podcast link.