Beach sand can make you sick – even without marshmallows

by on July 17, 2009 · 0 comments

in Environment, Health, Ocean Beach, San Diego

by Mike Lee / Union-Tribune / July 16, 2009

Add playing in the sand to the long list of fun things that may be bad for your health.

A new study says you risk getting an upset stomach and diarrhea if you dig into the granular stuff to fill toy pails, build sand castles or bury yourself. You’re better off walking along the shore or swimming in the surf.

Is the federal government, which paid $63,500 for the research, throwing a major bummer into the beach-going season? San Diego County’s 76 miles of coastline are dotted with dozens of state and city-run beaches.

Or maybe yesterday’s publication of the information is a nefarious plot against the 29th annual U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition, which is expected to attract 300,000 people to Imperial Beach this weekend.

The report’s authors said they don’t mean to put a damper on summer fun. They just think it’s important to caution people about the bird droppings, urban runoff, sewage and other contaminants that pollute sand.

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