What is acid rain?
A: "Acid rain" is a broad
term used to describe several ways that acids fall out of the atmosphere.Acid rain has two parts wet and dry.
- harming fish and other organisms living in lakes and streams
- harming to a variety of plants and animals on land
- damaging human health
What are the major causes of beach pollution?
- "The most frequently identified pollution sources are dirty runoff and stormwater,
which led to more than 2,616 closing and advisory days in 2003, and sewage spills and overflows, which accounted for more
than 1,820 closings and advisories in 2003."
- "Rain is often a contributing factor to beachwater pollution. Heavy rain can
overwhelm sewage systems, forcing rainwater and raw sewage directly into coastal waters, bypassing treatment plants. And as
rainwater washes over land, it picks up pollutants and boosts the overall volume of stormwater and polluted runoff that reaches
- "Nearly every coastal and Great Lakes state reported having at least one beach
where stormwater was a known source of pollution. California, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and New York had
the most beaches with stormwater pollution sources. California, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan and New York
have the most beaches with known sewage pollution sources."
- "But in many cases, communities simply haven't tracked down the sources of beachwater
pollution. The vast majority of closing and advisory days in 2003 (88 percent) were issued because monitoring revealed the
presence of bacteria associated with fecal contamination. But officials often could not identify the source of this contamination.
Local and state agencies should step up efforts to investigate such pollution."
Can swimming in polluted water make you sick? What's the
- "The answer is yes." According to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, swimming in polluted waters is the most common cause of waterborne illnesses. The most common illness
is gastroenteritis, which usually involves diarrhea or vomiting, or both."
- "In 1996, the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Project in California
monitored 15,492 beachgoers who bathed and immersed their heads in Santa Monica Bay. The study found an increased risk of
illness, including such symptoms as fever, chills, ear discharge, diarrhea, nausea and respiratory illnesses for swimmers
bathing near storm drains. Beachgoers swimming near storm drains had a 57 percent greater incidence of fever than those swimming
- "Although swimming-related illnesses usually are not severe or
life-threatening, they can cause significant discomfort and keep people out of work or school for days. The risks are greater
for young children, the elderly and people with impaired immune systems, such as cancer patients. Too often people are exposed
to these risks unwittingly due to deficiencies in local monitoring."