Metal fence with sign Closed in front of a beach

Originally, it was two proximal watering holes that tested positive for dangerous contaminants. Then, it was Orchard Beach itself, closed down as a precautionary measure. Beachgoers, eager to get their last licks before summer’s sun grows cold and precludes them from hitting the waves, were doubly upset. On the one hand, they were mad that they were denied access to their favorite beach locale, and for secondary reasons, for those that had already paid for parking by the time they’d gotten wind of the shutdown. Evidently, unsafe levels of bacteria were found during recent tests. As it stands, there is no word on when these beaches are set for reopening. Sooner, one hopes, rather than later. Luckily, those willing to take another trip were happy to find that other nearby public beaches were still open for business. So serious seafarers need not be discouraged.

The dangers of contaminated water apply most directly to pregnant women, young children, and the elderly. These sub-groups, historically, have the weakest immune systems. Or, in the case of pregnant women, the most precious cargo.

Coming in contact with polluted water (or worse, ingesting it) leads to some of the following symptoms:

  • Emesis (Vomiting)
  • Diarrhea
  • Flu-like symptoms including:
    • Shivering
    • Runny Nose
    • Aches
    • Headache

Which means that if you’ve gone swimming recently, and present with any of these symptoms, you should immediately seek the opinion of a doctor. In cases like this, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. So even if you haven’t gone for a dip in recent memory, seek medical attention if you’re experiencing these symptoms.


Common Pollutants and Their Effects

Factories illegally dispelling their waste into nearby rivers, farms or other agricultural systems whose illicit pesticides have seeped back into the water table, catastrophic oil spills, the multiplication effect of ambient chemicals in the advent of new urbanization, untreated raw sewage finding its way into a water system, acid rain, human litterbugs. This is just a brief list of factors that contribute to the pollution of lakes, rivers, streams and oceans.

  • DDT: This notorious insecticide, banned in the USA now for all applications save combatting malaria-carrying mosquitoes, still shows up in trace amounts in some waters. Exposure to DDT, even in low doses, may cause various cancers, liver damage, nerve damage, chromosome alteration, birth complications/defects and infertility in males.
  • PCBs: PCBs, contaminants sometimes found in electrical equipment coolant run-off, or near plants that use cutting fluids for machining operations, are also highly toxic to human beings. They can cause the skin to break out into violent pustules, elicit cold-like symptoms, and cause nerve damage.
  • Sewage: This may be upsetting for audience members weaker-in-the-stomach, but raw sewage is a major concern when it comes to contaminated water. Salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, E. coli, hepatitis, gastroenteritis, typhoid fever and dysentery are some of the diseases that commonly stem from sewage-tainted water exposure.
  • Mercury & Lead: Both mercury and lead have been known to cause nervous disorders.
  • Arsenic: Arsenic causes a vast array of vascular diseases as well as liver and skin damage.
  • Sodium: Sodium has been implicated in causing heart disorders.
  • Nitrates: Nitrates can cause blood disorders in humans.

You can do your part by never throwing waste into the ocean, or any waters at all. Doing so jeopardizes the health of not only any humans who happen to swim in the affected area thereafter, but all local flora and fauna. This can even have a backwards effect on humans: shellfish plucked from contaminated waters are obviously unfit for human consumption. Even small amounts of commercial waste can seriously, negatively affect the ecosystem of regional waters. And over 3.5 million people die every year as a result of contaminated water.

Kaplan Lawyers PC

Proprietors of water parks and the government officials in charge of moderating access to public beaches have an obligation to keep the waters therein clean and healthy for prospective swimmers. Remember, the very young and the elderly are both highly susceptible to contaminated waters, as their immune systems are generally weaker than those of adults. If through negligence or malfeasance you or someone you love has been exposed to contaminated water, then it may be within your rights to sue. If you have contracted a disease, you will undoubtedly incur medical bills for treatment and medication. That’s to say  nothing of your physical and emotional anguish. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we’ve got an experienced and knowledgeable team of attorneys ready and able to win you compensation that will defray these costs. You shouldn’t be expected to suffer financially after all the suffering you’ve already been through. If you’re unsure as to where you stand, contact us today. Our consultations are free, and we don’t take a fee unless you get paid.