Sewage Overflows Linked to Increase in Gastrointestinal Illnesses

A new study has found an increased risk of acute gastrointestinal illness during the four day period following large-volume combined sewer overflows (CSO) among downstream communities bordering the Merrimack river. The study from Beth Haley, Wendy Heiger-Bernays, and colleagues published in Environmental Health Perspectives observed an elevated risk of acute gastrointestinal illness in all Massachusetts cities included in the analysis, regardless of the source of their drinking water. This finding suggests that some residents may be exposed to contaminants originating from sewage systems through pathways other than drinking water. Read more about the study here.

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