2007美國海灘水質污染小有改善 戲水安全仍堪虞 | 環境資訊中心

2007美國海灘水質污染小有改善 戲水安全仍堪虞

2008年08月01日
摘譯自2008年7月29日ENS美國,華府報導;丁秋仁編譯;蔡麗伶審校

在夏威夷Ala Moana海灘戲水的男孩。圖片來源:Brandon Flores根據自然資源保護委員會(Natural Resources Defense Council, NRDC)29日公布的年度海灘水質報告顯示,相較於2006評比最差的一年,2007年全美海灘因污染而關閉且列為健康諮詢日的天數,已略微減少。儘管如此,卻不過是在NRDC 18年來的紀錄中,繼2006年要次差之一年。

NRDC清淨水質專案主任史托納(Nancy Stoner)指出,「美國部分家庭附近的海水浴場因受到人類及動物排泄物嚴重污染,發生不少兒童戲水後生病的案例,使得人們無法放心就近至海邊避暑玩樂。」

這份標題為「水質評鑑:假期海灘水質指南」的報告引用美國環保署資料,並且統計自2005年起連續三年下來,海洋、海灣及大湖海灘的關閉暨健康諮詢日,累計已超過20,000天。

2007年,NRDC依據水質淨度、監測與全民通報機制等標準,首次以五星的等級,評定國土內100多處著名海灘。與此同時,NRDC報告中亦對受污染之水域發出警訊。全美境內所有海灘水質樣本中,有7%未達衛生安全標準,與2006年的數據相同,絲毫沒有改善。

海灘水質污染最大的肇因仍舊為雨水帶來的污染,因此造成的關閉暨諮詢日就超過10,000天。每經大雨傾盆而下,雨水會將都市和郊區道路上未經處理之汙物,沖刷至海灘。其他未確定的污染源,亦名非點源染,於2007一年中,至少釀成全美海灘有8,000個日子處於關閉與諮詢之狀態。

在海灘關閉的總天數中,有38%發生在墨西哥灣海岸,部分是因為路易斯安那和密西西比兩州於2005年受卡崔娜及莉塔颶風接踵破壞而關閉,於2007年漸重新開放並接受監測。另一方面,夏威夷則因2006年不正常降雨,大幅減少36%的海灘關閉暨諮詢的日數。

研究人員在報告中譴責老舊與規劃不良的污水道與排水系統,同樣得為海灘水質的污染負起責任。不僅如此,人類在海岸地區不規則地擴張發展,大幅縮減諸如溼地與其他天然緩衝地之面積,如沙洲與沙茅草等,這些緩衝地有助於在污水流至海灘前,阻擋或過濾污物。

此外,據NRDC指出,對美國民眾健康造成危害的因子不僅只有受到污染的海灘,其實研究人員採用的測試方法與標準也是其中之一。現行使用的海灘水質標準已延用20年之久,且程度上依賴過時的科學與監測方法,即使評比結果良好,對於民眾至海邊戲水依然有危害健康之虞。因水傳染的疾病包括腸胃炎、痢疾、肝炎和呼吸疾病等,不論是成人、孩童或是免疫系統較差者,皆有染病之風險,甚至可能因此而喪失生命。

Water Quality at U.S. Vacation Beaches Slightly Improved
WASHINGTON, DC, July 29, 2008 (ENS)

There were fewer closings and health advisories due to polluted water at American beaches last year than in 2006, the worst year for beach water pollution, finds the annual report on beach water quality issued today by the Natural Resources Defense Council. But there is little room for celebration - the report shows 2007 was the second-worst year for beaches since NRDC began tracking these events 18 years ago.

"Some families can't enjoy their local beaches because they are polluted and kids are getting sick - largely because of human and animal waste in the water," said Nancy Stoner, director of NRDC's clean water project.

Using data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the report, "Testing the Waters: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches," shows the number of closing and advisory days at ocean, bay and Great Lakes beaches was more than 20,000 for the third consecutive year.

For the first time this year, NRDC is rating more than 100 popular beaches with a five-star rating guide based on the cleanliness of the water as well asmonitoring and public notification practices. Besides, the NRDC report is filled with warnings about polluted beach water. Nationally, seven percent of beachwater samples violated health standards, showing no improvement from 2006.

The greatest source of pollution continues to be contamination from stormwater, which caused more than 10,000 closing and advisory days. Whenever it rains, stormwater carries pollution from urban and suburban streets to the beach without any treatment. Unknown sources of pollution, also called nonpoint sources, caused more than 8,000 closing and advisory days in 2007.

The biggest increase in closing and advisory days, 38 percent, was in the Gulf Coast region, partly because beaches in Louisiana and Mississippi were reopened and monitored for the first full beach season there since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck in 2005. The biggest drop in closing and advisory days was a 36 percent reduction in Hawaii, which had an abnormal rainfall year in 2006.

The report blames aging and poorly-designed sewage and stormwater systems for much of the beach water pollution. Sprawling development in coastal areas is eliminating wetlands and other natural buffers such as dunes and beach grass that would have helped filter out pollution before it reaches the beach, the report points out.

Not only are the beaches polluted, the way they are tested is also failing the American public, according to NRDC. Beach water quality standards are more than 20 years old and rely on outdated science and monitoring methods that leave beachgoers vulnerable to a range of waterborne illnesses including gastroenteritis, dysentery, hepatitis, and respiratory ailments. For senior citizens, small children, and people with weak immune systems, the results can be fatal.

全文及圖片詳見:ENS

作者

蔡麗伶(LiLing Barricman)

In my healing journey and learning to attain the breath awareness, I become aware of the reality that all the creatures of the world are breathing the same breath. Take action, here and now. From my physical being to the every corner of this out of balance's planet.