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How Clean is your Surf Spot ?

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Lecture of Dr Guillaume Barucq at the Conference on Surfing Medicine 2015 in Anglet about the risks of surfing in polluted waters.

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How Clean is your Surf Spot ?

  1. 1. How clean is your surf spot ? Diseases you can encounter in Europe due to pollution. Is it really that Bad? Dr Guillaume Barucq, M.D. EASD Surfing Medicine Conference 2015
  2. 2. What is Marine Pollution ?
  3. 3. Marine Debris (visible)
  4. 4. Chemical Pollution (visible or invisible)
  5. 5. Radioactive Pollution (invisible)
  6. 6. Microbiological Pollution  Bacterias, virus, fungus, parasites… (invisible)
  7. 7. When does marine pollution occur ?
  8. 8. When there is no sanitation system  Video
  9. 9. When the sewage overflows  Video
  10. 10. When the rivers flood  VIDEO
  11. 11. In case of heavy rain Urban Run-Off (fuel, oil…) Leaching of soils (fertilizers, pesticides)
  12. 12. WHAT ARE THE HEALTH RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH SEAWATER POLLUTION ?
  13. 13. Context  Few research available about infectious diseases among surfers.  1 Retrospective study (Surfrider Europe)  Existing publications about bathing or swimming-related diseases that can hardly apply to surfing.
  14. 14. Surf Infection Study (G.Barucq 2012-2013)  Goal : follow the evolution of the number of infections related to water quality and the type of nautical activity practised.  Interesting if several surfers contract the same symptoms after surfing in the same surf spot, the same day.  Method : online survey launched in June 2012.  Quick and easy-to-fill questionnaire.
  15. 15. Results  166 exploitable answers between June 2012 and October 2013.  35% of the declarations registered during the highly polluted month of June 2012.  95% of the declarations from the south-west of France (Bask Coast, Landes +++). And also declarations from Reunion Island, NYC, Canada…
  16. 16. Nautical Activity Practised  Surfing / Shortboard (38%)  Bathing / Swimming (27%)  Longboarding (23%)  Bodyboarding (5%)  Bodysurfing (4%)  Stand-Up Paddle (2%)  Kitesurfing /Windsurfing (1%)
  17. 17. Top 10 Symptoms of Surf Infection  1. Earache  2. Fever  3. Abdominal Pain  4. Diarrhea  5. Red eye  6. Nausea /Vomiting  7. Headache  8. Skin Rash  9. Sore throat  10. Itching
  18. 18. Time of occurrence of the symptoms after suspected bath / surf session.  Less than 24 hours (36%)  Between 1 and 3 days (30%)  Less than 6 hours (26%)  Between 3 and 7 days (6%)
  19. 19. Did the Seawater look polluted ?  Dubious visual appearance (27%)  Marine litter visualized (19%)  Recent pollution (18%)  No obvious sign of pollution (16%)  Bad smell (12%)  Bad results of recent seawater analysis (8%)
  20. 20. General Condition before infection New question added to the questionnaire : are you a regular surfer or an occasional surfer ?  In good form : 86%  Tired / Stressed (14%)
  21. 21. Most diagnosed Infections  Gastro-enteritis (18%)  Otitis (18%) : External +++ (=swimmer’s ear)  Conjunctivitis / ocular infection (16%)  Skin Infections (10%)*  Naso-pharyngitis (7%)  Sinusitis (6%) *Several staphylococcal infections declared (impetigo, carbuncle, infected cut, sty…)
  22. 22. How long should you wait after it rains ? It depends !
  23. 23. Factors which impact Ocean’s resilience to Pollution • Volume of water polluted • Water Temperature • Salinity • UV Rays • Wind • Rain • Swell • Waves • Currents (horizontal, vertical, upwelling) • Underwater Waves • Ocean’s Microbiota
  24. 24. Information on Water Quality
  25. 25. Seawater Analysis
  26. 26. Analysis Results (Regional Health Agency)
  27. 27. Analysis Results (Surfrider Foundation / Nautical Activities Zones)
  28. 28. WATER QUALITY INFORMATION ON THE BEACH
  29. 29. Most of the time, Water Analysis are informations from the past. What we need is real-time info on water quality.
  30. 30. Rapid Analysis GenSpot Bacteriological Analysis :  Sample Preparation < 2h  RT-PCR (polymerase chain reaction): 1 h Active Management of the Environment REAL-TIME MONITORING : Control & Alert
  31. 31. Sample Preparation 2. Lysis 3. RNA Extraction and purification RT- PCR Real-Time 1h 1. Filtration < 2h 4. RNA Quantification GenSpot : Decision Support Tool
  32. 32. 1 10 100 1000 10000 0 20 40 60 80 temps (heures) E.coli/100ml J1 J2 J3 Conventional Method ANSES Limit E. Coli Concentration (/100ml)1 10 100 1000 10000 0 20 40 60 80 temps (heures) E.coli/100ml Baignade Interdite GenSpot Conventional Method 500 Baignade Autorisée 1000 48h 48h3h Active Management of Seawater Pollution
  33. 33. Pollution Surf Report : the next big thing !
  34. 34. VIDEO
  35. 35. BIARRITZ INFOPLAGES (Smartphone App)
  36. 36. Prevention tips to avoid infection  Avoid ingesting too much water per session  Rinse yourself (skin, nasal cavities, ear canal +++)  Dry yourself (skin, ears, remove wetsuit/boardshort/bikini after surfing)  Clean your nose with… seawater (spray)  Do not surf with an open wound  Beware with contact lenses (daily contact lens only)  Wear earplugs  Don’t surf if too sick or weakened by illness or treatment
  37. 37.  « The Microbe is Nothing. TheTerrain is Everything.» Louis Pasteur.
  38. 38. Take-home Messages • Trust your senses (Watch, Smell and Taste the water) • Search for the information (recent analysis, beach classification…) • Ask for more (local authorities, politician, became a water quality activist…) • Avoid surfing when water is polluted • Surf More when water is clean !
  39. 39. Upcoming Research • The Beach Bums Study (Surfers against Sewage) • Water Quality & Health (Surfrider Foundation Europe) • New Surf Infection study.

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