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Will the EPA Regulate Sandcastle Building?

A new study performed by the EPA has determined that playing in the sand at the beach can make you sick.

In an article titled “Digging in Beach Sand Linked to Increased Risk of Gastrointestinal Illness,” the EPA cites a intensive study performed by EPA researchers and other scientists which found that your risk of getting sick might increase after playing in the sand.

The EPA wrote:

People take certain precautions when they go to the beach. They apply sunscreen to avoid sunburn and stay away from big waves if they are not strong swimmers. But they do not usually worry about getting sick from digging or playing in the sand.

Unfortunately, beach sand could harbor even more harmful bacteria than nearby bathing waters. EPA researchers and their counterparts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Johns Hopkins University observed a positive relationship between sand exposure and gastrointestinal (GI) illnesses as a function of fecal microbial pollution in beach sand.

The EPA threw a total of 12 researchers at this crucial issue. They analyzed 144 wet sand samples and conducted 5,000 interviews with people who had been located.

But researchers couldn’t be completely sure that people weren’t getting ill from contaminated water, which has long been known to make swimmers sick. Most of those studied also swam in the water, and there was no increased risk of sickness among those who didn’t swim but who did play in the sand.

What’s more, you had to be playing in sand that had been contaminated. And, further diminishing the chance that you should now avoid building sandcastles, the beaches analyzed were less than two miles from a waste treatment plant outlet.

The researchers also made the apparently important discovery that “being buried in the sand generally showed a somewhat stronger association with GI illness and diarrhea than did just digging in the sand.”

The result of all this EPA led research?

People should “consider washing their hands or using a hand sanitizer after playing in the sand or water,” said EPA Environmental Public Health Division (EPHD) Epidemiology Branch Chief Timothy Wade Ph.D.

The study was published in the January 2012 issue of Epidemiology.

38 thoughts on “Will the EPA Regulate Sandcastle Building?”

  1. A classic make-work “study” by and for goverment empolyees and subcontractors. Behold the future, my friends. There’s a LOT more of this this kind of waste coming from a big government near you.

  2. I’ve been going to the beach all my life, even took my babies to the beach and they ate the sand and swallowed the sea water. Then my babies took their babies to the beach……no one has ever gotten sick from these visits, ever.

  3. True. There may have well been good reasons for establishing EPA way back when (e.g., Love Canal). It has served it’s purpose and needs to be scaled back now. In the case of the DOEs (Energy and Education), they have been failures and need to be abolished.

  4. Who thought beach sand was clean in the first place? The EPA has a propensity of stating the obvious “air quality in the LA basin is poor”….
    no sh!t Sherlock!

    The EPA, Engergy, Education, DHS amoung others need to go away….leave us alone!

    1. The EPA is always after AZ because we have dust particulates in the air. Well, of course you do in a desert. Not to mention the idiots stuck a monitor in the middle of a dry river bed.

      Can’t help but wonder how much this beach sand study cost taxpayers.

  5. Not to worry noble subjects!!
    The great state of Loon-a-fornia has also prohibited tossing footballs and Frisbees on their beaches..
    Got to love all the “higher eddikashun”..

  6. Just a sign of things to come. Some California beaches already make it illegal to dig a certain depth in the sand. Kiss goodbye the fun of building sand castles and burying Dad up to his neck in the sand. The flat-earth-no-growth-enviro-marxists won’t ever be satisfied until we unsophisticated rubes are an extinct species.

  7. This study is riduculous on it’s face; most “sand” is fish poop.

    Some of our friends here remember the days of old:
    we took a bath once a week
    we washed our hair once a week
    we swam in polluted streams, lakes, and rivers
    we drank “raw” milk
    girls made mud-pies, boys sloshed in every mud puddle
    babies crawled on the floor that was only cleaned every Friday
    Mother chopped the “rotten” part off of vegetables before she cooked them
    we ate home-canned food
    and many more ‘dangerous’ things
    But, here we are, still kicking.

    1. I have to admit the EPA is wasting time studying things that are not important. Sand will always exist.. Playing in sand is like drinking from a glass since glass is made of sand.

      1. When my kid was first born, we used to wash off her binkie when it fell on the floor–this lasted about 2 days, then we popped it back in under the 5 second rule and said, “More antibodies.” She is turning 30 and has a great immune system.

    2. Don’t forget drinking water out of the garden hose; picking fresh strawberries right off of the bush and eating them w/o washing them; licking the cake/cookie/brownie batter bowl clean; riding bicycles and rollerskating w/o helmets; etc. OH, and a big one, following the “3 second rule” when food drops on your kitchen floor and you eat it right away. People are just so stupid in the gov/epa.

    3. Back in the dark ages when Mom and Dad rather than Nanny State raised children, kids survived all kinds of horrors. They rode bikes, played baseball and football without helmets. They rode in cars without seat belts. There were no labels on food packages. They ran fast as the wind on playgrounds. They ate paste. They stuck things up their noses. They shimmed up and down jungle jims with no helmets and no knee pads. They played in and ate mud and bugs. There was no health insurance and doctors made house calls.
      They pushed and shoved and wrestled each other with no bodily protection. They watched television programs where there was a Mom and a Dad (this is really a horror!) who taught lessons on honesty, courage, sacrifice and citizenship.

      Oh those horrible times. How did we ever survive?

    4. Dodge ball in gym class. Red rover on the play ground. Fist fights with your best friend, and then an ice pack and ice cream at his house or yours. Jumping off the roof with an umbrella (yes I did do that). Jumping off the teeter-totter while on the bottom so your best friend ended up slamming into the ground. Jumping off swings as they hit the zenith of their arc. Trying to push the best friend so hard on the swing that he would loop over the cross bar. Playing baseball in the middle of a side street intersection (I grew up in Chicago) and using the corners as bases, hurt like hell to slide. Opening the fire hydrant on a hot August day.

      I could go on, as I bet all of us could. Now we are lucky to even be allowed to walk down the street without having to look like a defensive end from the Bears.

  8. Living in a state controlled by ultra-leftwing Nanny’s is more detrimental to one’s health, livelihood, and life than the chance of having a bad tummy ache playing in the sand.

  9. OMG!!! DUH!!!!!! I live near the beach, and we go there all year long to not only play and build sand castles in the warm weather, but walk along the beach and collect seashells in the cooler weather. We always wash our hands (or take a shower depending on what we did at the beach), as well as our feet to get the sand off. You have to be a complete moron to NOT do this, but even more sad/stupid is that the government/EPA MORONS actually spent hard-earned taxpayer dollars to fund a study like this. After reading this article, I felt like I wanted to scream “No SH*T, Sherlock!” at the EPA. DUH!!!! AND……every beach down here has showers strategically located so swimmers/surfers/etc can rinse off the sand. Normal people have been “taking precautions” long before this stupid “study” came out.

    1. Get ready for the government to ban all beach activity for the sake of our collective health and safety. When the government controls our healthcare, they control our lives.

  10. Where do I get my bubble? With this EPA, EVERYTHING is dangerous and must be avoided. Where’s the HHS investigating parents having chicken pox parties? Chicken pox is highly contagious and easily spread. Maybe that’s the goal.

    1. Chicken pox is so nasty–but some parents try to expose kids–I suppose to later they will need the free shingles shot we are guaranteed as Americans–NOT! I cannot even GET that bec it’s $75 under my Medicare plan…and I have better uses for $75 even tho I had shingles once and don’t want it again particularly. I also heard from a friend that some HHS officials were inspecting “brought” lunches at some school to see if they were fit for kids to eat. GET OFF MY LAWN, ‘CRATS!

  11. Slide and slide down some ol’ cellar door,
    Slide and slide till your pants got tore.
    Then we had to go home and stay in bed
    Till mother got through with the needle and thread,
    Oh boy, wht joy we had in Barefoot Days!

    Anybody remember that?

  12. Pingback: Building Sandcastles Is Hazardous | Grumpy Opinions

  13. Well DUH! Any fool probably knows this already….I cannot believe the government spends money on this foolishness! That is as bad as the government checking out school lunches to see if they are healthy. Sheech!

  14. This sounds like the study on cow flatulence… Didn’t Obama promise to go through the budget line by line and eliminate this kind of thing? Huh, didn’t do that, go figure…

  15. EPA study by 10,000 researchers over 25 years concludes breathing air makes you die. Breathing air only common denominator in all deaths researched. Studies will continue, meanwhile EPA recommends breathing as little air as possible until companion study on death being caused by cessation of breathing is concluded.

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