New Study: High Levels of Bacteria in Beach Sand

Summer is the perfect time to head to the beach and enjoy the warmer weather, but a new study says shark attacks and rip currents might not be the only things to worry about when you lay out your towel and chairs.

There have been reports across the country lately about bacteria in water that can be dangerous for your health but new information says staying dry might not keep you safe.

“There’s about 100 times more bacteria in the sand per the same amount of volume as there was in the water,” said Dr. Marc Frischer from the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography.

The study out of the University of Hawaii at Manoa explains much of the bacteria they found indicates fecal contamination – like E. coli.

In addition to higher quantities, researchers found it lasts longer outside of the water, partially because underneath the sand they’re protected from the sun.

But Frischer said it doesn’t mean you should avoid the sand or the beach, “I have an 8 year old myself and we go to the beach all of the time,” he said, “I think as long as there’s no restrictions posted it’s a safe place to be.”

He adds often when those restrictions are posted and the water is closed because of high levels of bacteria, the sand is closed as well.

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