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Few surfers deterred by ocean bacteria

Modified: Wednesday, Aug 27th, 2014

Oregon's beaches are dotted with unfolding signs that warn visitors of heightened levels of bacteria. (Courtesy photo by Lynn Ketchum)

Health warnings issued when beaches have high levels of bacteria do not keep many surfers out of the water, according to a new study by Oregon State University.

Nearly three in 10 surfers admit they knowingly surf during health advisories nearly the same amount that chooses not to surf during periods of elevated bacteria. About 40 percent of surfers said they were unaware if they had ever surfed during an active health advisory.

The data can help public officials better warn surfers of potential health risks, said Anna Harding, co-author of the study and professor in OSU's College of Public Health and Human Sciences.

For the complete article see the 08-27-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 08-27-2014 paper.

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