By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — A new report is flagging possibly unhealthy water at Massachusetts beaches. The “Safe For Swimming” report from Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center looked for fecal indicator bacteria at beaches in 29 states, and found “potentially unsafe” contamination levels.

In Massachusetts, researchers tested 556 beaches for fecal indicator bacteria in 2020. Among those, 264 were found to have “potentially unsafe water on at least one day, and 29 beaches were potentially unsafe on at least 25% of the days they were tested.”

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King’s Beach in Lynn and Swampscott was found to be potentially unsafe on 64 days, “more days than any other beach in the state,” the report said. King’s Beach also got the lowest score on a different water quality report of beaches in the state.

Other beaches called out for having the most potentially unsafe days in the state were Tenean Beach in Boston, Wollaston Beach, Keyes Beach in Barnstable, Malibu Beach in Dorchester and Sandy Beach in Essex County.

“Potentially unsafe” waters at Massachusetts beaches (Image credit: Environment Massachusetts)

Norfolk County beaches were found to have the highest percentage of potentially unsafe days for swimming at 12%.

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The report estimates that the U.S. sees 57 million cases of people getting sick from swimming in contaminated bodies of water every year.

“Fecal contamination makes beaches unsafe for swimming,” the report states. “Human contact with contaminated water can result in gastrointestinal illness as well as respiratory disease, ear and eye infection, and skin rash.”

Click here to read the full report.


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