Stop Sea Water Pollution
Medical and Clinical Microbiology Department Lecturer Assist. Prof. Dr. Ayşe Seyer from the Faculty of Medicine of Cyprus International University (CIU), drew attention to the issue of sea water pollution that was mentioned in the media recently and noted that this problem is experienced with the coming of summer when people flock to the beaches.
Pointing out that this is a problem that should be considered not only during summer but also at other times, Seyer said, " the pollution of all water resources, whether it’s sea water or drinking water or household water, would lead to serious public health problems."
Assist. Prof. Dr. Ayşe Seyer said that terms such as coliform bacteria, enterococci and E.coli found in seawater analysis are formed as a result of the contamination of seawater with human or animal stool, adding, “Because these bacteria are found in the digestive system of humans and most mammals, seas are being polluted with human and animal feces."
Expressing that not only due to these bacteria but also various other microbes can be present in a water source contaminated with human or mammal feces, Seyer said, “But it takes a long time to detect all these microbes. For this reason, the above-mentioned bacteria have been used as a marker to determine water pollution for years.”
Expressing that not only these bacteria but also various microbes can be present in a water source contaminated with human or mammal feces, Seyer said, “But it takes a long time to detect all these microbes. For this reason, the above-mentioned bacteria have been used as a marker to determine water pollution for years.
Seyer stated that most members of total coliform bacteria do not always cause disease, but noted that the presence of these bacteria is an indication that other disease-causing microbes may also be present in the environment.
Pointing out that the amount of total coliform bacteria gives information about the hygiene status of that water source, Seyer said, “Fecal coliform bacteria are a group of total coliform bacteria. These bacteria are found in the intestines and feces of humans and mammals. Therefore, they can leak into seas, streams or lakes through direct discharge of human and mammal feces or bird droppings, agricultural wastes, wastes brought by storms and untreated human sewage wastes.”
Seyer noted that if swimming in water containing high amounts of fecal coliform bacteria, other microbes that may cause infection can enter the body through wounds in the mouth, nose, ear, eyes or skin, and this may cause symptoms such as fever, nausea and abdominal cramps to appear.
Pointing out that waterborne infections can occur in this way, Seyer said that the main ones are typhoid fever, viral or bacterial gastroenteritis, dysentery (bloody diarrhea), ear infections and Hepatitis A infections.
Noting that Coliform group bacteria reproduce faster at high temperatures, Seyer added, “Sewage water creates a rich environment for these bacteria to reproduce and multiply.”
Seyer gave information about what needs to be done in order to stay away from the serious effects of contamination of water resources on human health, and said, “The establishment and protection of sewage systems is of great importance. As long as we think of the seas as a way of salvaging our waste, these wastes will still be returned to us and will negatively affect our health.”