Beach Closings Up

August 3, 2006

A new study shows beach closings are up in the city of Chicago, and across the nation.

The Natural Resources Defense Council says Chicago beaches were closed or had warnings about bacteria levels more than twice as often last year than 2004.

Laurel O'Sullivan, who works with the council, says people are swimming in human and animal waste.

"As we struggle through record high temperatures, a cool dip in the lake is often the only relief available for some," she said.

"But a cool dip in the lake shouldn't turn into a trip to the emergency room. Americans shouldn't have to choose between swimming in the lake, and staying out of the water."

The group found 200 beaches in numerous states where the water failed to meet standards at least 25 percent of the time.

It says 2005 had the worst record for beach closings and health warnings in 16 years.