Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Health effects of beach water pollution in Hong Kong

  • W. H. S. Cheung (a1), K. C. K. Chang (a1), R. P. S. Hung (a1) and J. W. L. Kleevens (a2)

Summary

Prospective epidemiological studies of beach water pollution were conducted in Hong Kong in the summers of 1986 and 1987. For the main study in 1987, a total of 18741 usable responses were obtained from beachgoers on nine beaches at weekends. The study indicated the overall perceived symptom rates for gastrointestinal, ear, eye, skin, respiratory, fever and total illness were significantly higher for swimmers than non-swimmers; and the swimming-associated symptom rates for gastrointestinal, skin, respiratory and total illness were higher at ‘barely acceptable’ beaches than at ‘relatively unpolluted’ ones. Escherichia coli was found to be the best indicator of the health effects associated with swimming in the beaches of Hong Kong. It showed the highest correlation with combined swimming-associated gastroenteritis and skin symptom rates when compared with other microbial indicators. A linear relationship between E. coli and the combined symptom rates was established. Staphylococci were correlated with ear, respiratory and total illness, but could not be used for predicting swimming-associated health risks. They should be used to complement E. coli. The setting of health-related bathing-water quality standards based on such a study is discussed.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Health effects of beach water pollution in Hong Kong
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Health effects of beach water pollution in Hong Kong
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Health effects of beach water pollution in Hong Kong
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

References

Hide All
1.Laws of Hong Kong, Chapter 358. Water Pollution Control Ordinance. Statement of water quality objectives, Southern, Junk Bay and Port Shelter Water Control Zones. Hong Kong: Government Printer, 1980.
2.World Health Organisation/United Nations Environment Programme. Health criteria and epidemiological studies related to coastal water pollution. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe, 1977.
3.United Nations Environment Programme/World Health Organisation. Assessment of the present state of microbial pollution in the Mediterranean sea and proposed control measures. Geneva: United Nations Environment Programme, 1985.
4.Public Health Laboratory Service. Sewage contamination of coastal bathing waters in England and Wales: a bacteriological and epidemiological study. J Hyg 1959; 43: 435–72.
5.Hawley, HB, Morin, DT, Geraghty, ME, Tomkow, J, Phillips, CA, Coxsackievirus, Bepidemic at a boys' summer camp: isolation of virus from swimming water. JAMA 1973; 226: 33–6.
6.Denis, FA, Blancrouin, MD, DeLignieres, A, Flamen, P. Coxsackie A16 infection from lake water. JAMA 1974; 228: 1370–1.
7.D'Alessio, DJ, Minor, TE, Allen, CI, Tsiatis, AA, Nelson, DB. A study of the proportions of swimmers among well controls and children with enterovirus-like illness shedding or not shedding an enterovirus. Am J Epidemiol 1981; 113: 533–1.
8.Bryan, JA, Lehmann, JD, Setiady, IF, Hatch, MH. An outbreak of hepatitis-A associated with recreational lake water. Am J Epidemiol 1974; 99: 145–54.
9.Rosenberg, ML, Hazlet, KK, Schaefer, J, Wells, JG, Pruneda, RC. Shigellosis from swimming. JAMA 1976; 236: 1849–52.
10.Makintubee, S, Mallonee, J, Istre, GR. Shigellosis outbreak associated with swimming. Am J Public Health 1987; 77: 166–8.
11.Baron, RC, Murphy, FD, Greenberg, HB et al. , Norwalk gastrointestinal illness: an outbreak associated with swimming in a recreational lake and secondary person-to-person transmission. Am J Public Health 1982; 115: 163–72.
12.Koopman, JS, Eckert, EA, Greenberg, HB, Strohm, BC, Issacson, RE, Monto, AS. Norwalk virus enteric illness acquired by swimming exposure. Am J Epidemiol 1982; 115: 173–7.
13.Stevenson, AE. Studies of bathing water quality and health. Am J Public Health 1953; 43: 529–38.
14.Federal Water Poll Control Adm, National Technical Advisory Committee. Water quality criteria. Washington DC: Department of the Interior, 1968: 7.
15.Henderson, JM. Enteric disease criteria for recreational waters. J San Engr Div 1968; 94: 1253.
16.Cabelli, VJ. Health effects criteria for marine recreational waters. US Environmental Protection Agency, 1983. EPA-600/1–80–031.
17.Cabelli, VJ, Dufour, AP, McCabe, LJ, Levin, MA. Swimming-associated gastroenteritis and water quality. Am J Epidemiol 1982; 115: 606–16.
18.United States Environmental Protection Agency. Ambient water quality criteria for bacteria-1986. US Environmental Protection Agency, 1986. EPA-440/5–84–002.
19.Dufour, AP. Bacterial indicators of recreational water quality. Canadian J Public Health 1984; 75: 4956.
20.Dufour, AP. Health effects criteria for fresh recreational waters. US Environmental Protection Agency, 1984. EPA-600/1–84–004.
21.Seyfried, PL, Tobin, RS, Brown, NE, Ness, PF. A prospective study of swimming-related illness. I. Swimming-associated health risk. Am J Public Health 1985; 75: 1068–70.
22.Seyfried, PL, Tobin, RS, Brown, NE, Ness, PF. A prospective study of swimming-related illness. II. Morbidity and the microbiological quality of water. Am J Public Health 1985; 75: 1071–5.
23.Fattal, B, Peleg-Olevsky, E, Yoshpe-Purer, Y, Shuval, HI. The association between morbidity among bathers and microbial quality of seawater. Wat Sci Tech 1986; 18: 5969.
24.Brown, JM, Campbell, EA, Rickards, AD, Wheeler, D. Sewage pollution of bathing water. Lancet 1987; ii: 1208–9.
25.World Health Organisation/United Nations Environment Programme. Correlation between coastal water quality and health effects. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe, 1986.
26.Joint Committee of the Public Health Laboratory Service and the Standing Committee of Analysts. Membrane filtration media for the enumeration of coliform organisms and Escherichia coli in water: comparison of Tergitol 7 and lauryl sulphate with Teepol 610. J Hyg 1980; 85: 181–91.
27.Department of the Environment, Department of Health and Social Security, Public Health Laboratory Service. The bacteriological examination of drinking water supplies 1982. Reports on Public Health and Medical Subjects No. 71, Methods for the Examination of Waters and Associated Materials. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 1983.
28.Cheung, WHS. Escherichia coli: A bacterial indicator of faecal pollution. In: Proceedings of the Joint Meeting of the Hong Kong Society of Microbiology and the Guangdong Society of Microbiology. 2–5 June 1985: 3043.
29.Cheung, WHS, Ha, DKK, Yeung, KY, Hung, RPS. Methods for enumerating Eschenrhia coli in subtropical waters. Submitted.
30.Kenner, BA, Clark, HF, Kabler, PW. Fecal streptococci. I. Cultivation and enumeration of streptococci in surface waters. Appl Microbiol 1961; 9: 1520.
31.Slanetz, LW, Bartley, CH. Numbers of enterococci in water, sewage, and faeces determined by the membrane filter technique with an improved medium. J Bacteriol 1957; 74: 591–5.
32.Klapes, NA. Comparison of Vogel-Johnson and Baird-Parker media for membrane filtration recovery of staphylococci in swimming pool water. Appl Environ Microbiol 1983: 46: 1318–22.
33.Alico, RK, Dragonjac, MF. Evaluation of culture media for recovery of staphylococcus aureux from swimming pools. Appl Environ Microbiol 1986; 51: 699702.
34.Levin, MA, Cabelli, VJ. Membrane filter technique for enumeration of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Appl Environ Microbiol 1972; 24: 862–70.
35.DeVicente, A, Borrego, JJ, Arrabal, F, Romero, P. Comparative study of selective media for enumeration of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from water by membrane filtration. Appl Environ Microbiol 1986; 51: 832–40.
36.Buck, JD, Bubucis, PM. Membrane filter procedure for enumeration of Candida albicans in natural waters. Appl Environ Microbiol 1978; 35: 237–42.
37.American Public Health Association, American Water Works Association and Water Pollution Control Federation. Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 16th ed.Washington DC: American Public Health Association. 1985; 985–6.
38.Cabelli, VJ. Epidemiology of enteric viral infections. In: Goddard, M, Butler, M. eds. Viruses and wastewater treatment. London: Pergamon Press, 1981: 291304.
39.Cabelli, VJ. Swimming-associated illness and recreational water quality criteria. Wat Sci Tech 1989; 21: 1321.
40.White, DO, Fenner, F. Medical virology. 3rd ed.London: Academic Press, 1986: 451–78.
41.Cheung, WHS, Chang, KCK. Microbiological water quality of bathing beaches in Hong Kong, 1988. Environmental Protection Department, Hong Kong Government. EPD/TR5/88. Hong Kong: Government Printer, 1989.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed