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Title: Development of microbiological standards - patterns of water usage, contact and risks in water sports
Author: E.B. Pike
Author: P. Gale
Document Type: Monograph
Annotation: EA additional title info: R&D 037/6/S
This is the fourth Interim Report produced under this Contract. It describes four inter-related tasks, which have been carried out to meet the objective of developing a scheme of classifying the various recreational uses of tidal and non-tidal waters according to degree of contact, by using a scientific assessment of the risks. Firstly, published information was used to identify three classes of illness, related to recreational use of water: (a) waterborne, spread by ingesting or inhaling faecally polluted water; (b) water contact, not directly related to pollution (e.g. cyanobacterial toxins, leptospirosis); and (c) water-washed, caused by opportunist skin organisms washed in by water. Secondly, surveys of national governing bodies for various water sports and of 209 responding clubs and limited observations of sports activities have been used to classify sports according to degree of water contact and, hence, risk. The classes derived are: (a) whole-body contact, with immersion, facial wetting and risk of swallowing (e.g. long-distance swimming, surfing, sub aqua, water skiing, white-water canoeing, windsurfing, sea bathing, childrens wading and dabbling); (b) incidental contact, with wetting of limbs only (rowing,-canoe touring, sailing) and non-contact (angling, boating, walking). Perception of risks from gastrointestinal, ear, eye, nose and throat symptoms was greatest among clubs for .whole-body contact and certain sports were aware of leptospirosis and cyanobacterial toxins. The greatest activity was for non-contact sports involving about one-sixth of the population and twice the participation of the other two classes together. The only quantifiable risks nationally are for leptospirosis and drowning. It is considered that epidemiology is needed should it be required to quantify risks of waterborne and water contact illnesses more definitively.
Publisher: National Rivers Authority
Publication Date: 1992
Publication Place: Bristol
Subject Keywords: Water pollutionPublic healthSwimmingRisk assessment
Taxonomic Keywords: Cyanobacteria
Extent: 82; + appendices
Total file downloads: 321

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