Swimming in chemicals? The safety of British waters this ‘Staycation’
This summer, the Environment Agency are running a ‘#WaterWarriors’ campaign to build awareness around protecting and improving the UK’s blue spaces. This is timed to coincide with increasing numbers of visitors flocking to UK waters, with ongoing international travel restrictions. The campaign emphasises the importance of small actions the public can take as ‘#Water Warriors’ such as bagging dog poos when by the river or on the beach, to reduce the amount of harmful bacteria that enters the water. Advice also includes checking the Swimfo website for up-to-date information on the pollution risk associated with bathing spots.
However, the issue of water pollution is not something we should be concerned about only in relation to specific weather conditions. The fact that no rivers, lakes and estuaries in the UK meet legal water quality standards due to chemical pollution has previously been highlighted by CHEM Trust. Although the small steps individuals can take to prevent the worsening of other kinds of pollution are important, such as not flushing baby wipes and sanitary towels down toilets, the prevalence of chemicals in UK waters cannot be addressed through individual action.
This is why CHEM Trust has put forward 12 Key Asks for the government to include in its new Chemicals Strategy following the UK’s departure from the EU. Phasing out the use of very persistent chemicals such as PFAS and where possible the use of the most hazardous chemicals in consumer products are key pieces of legislation CHEM Trust is pushing for.
We need to tackle chemical pollution at its source. Enjoy your bathing, be a #WaterWarrior this summer but check out our website to learn more about the broader problem of chemical pollution in the environment.