Do not swallow sand!

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French warning about pollution from the Prestige, carefully worded so the general public will not cut their holidays short.

“Following the sinking of the petrol tanker, Prestige, some fuel oil containing dangerous products has arrived on this beach (sand and bathing area). It has been cleaned. The evaluation made by the municipal services, in accordance with the sanitary control instructions made by the Minister of Health, shows the state of the beach to be satisfactory. Water activities may be practiced.

“However, as residual pollution (from the Prestige or from another source) could remian, the following precautions are recommended:

  • Watch children to ensure that they do not swallow sand.
  • If water-sports equipment (wind-surfing board, etc) is soiled, stop the sport and inform the local council office.
  • In case of contact with the oil, remove as much as possible before rapidly dissolving the remaining stains with a fatty product (vegetable oil, vaseline or sun cream), then clean with soap and water (do not use solvent, motor oil or white spirit).
“The principal eventual effects for the health are linked to direct skin contact with the oil and consist of irritations (red blotches) and sensitivity to the sun in those areas of the skin that have been soiled by the oil. The level of exposure is too low to create a significant risk of cancer, as the studies by French experts, of the National Institute of Health Surveillance, the National Institute of the Industrial Environment and Risks, and the French Health Safety of the Environment Agency, have shown.”

Note that increased sensitivity to sunlight will probably increase the likelihood of skin cancers.

 

 

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