The sand on some of Florida’s most popular beaches contains high levels of fecal bacteria, a study found.

The report, published last month in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin, said the bacteria on beaches in Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Hollywood, Fla., is 100 to 1,000 times higher than in the water along the shoreline.

Other studies on public beaches in Southern California and around the Great Lakes region found similarly high levels of E. coli and other types of fecal bacteria, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel said Friday.

Scientists are divided on whether the bacteria pose a health risk, the newspaper said.

We believe the risk is there, whether or not there have been documented problems, said Florida Atlantic University scientist Nwadiuto Esiobu.

Nova Southeastern University scientist Donald McCorquodale, however, said he suspects beach bacteria are largely harmless and have lost their capability to make someone sick.

Just because you’re finding high levels of bacteria doesn’t mean there’s a health risk. And it doesn’t mean it’s safe either, Florida Department of Environmental Protection epidemiologist Timothy Wade said.

Via: Web India