Sewage stream flowing into the Mediterranean sea in Ramlet al-Baida, Tuesday, June 6, 2017. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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As Lebanon heads into the hot summer months, residents and tourists are flocking to the Mediterranean Sea – only to swim in water contaminated with toxic levels of metals, chemicals and bacteria, studies show.Citing a 2015 study by Lebanon's National Center for Marine Sciences, which reported high pollution of sea space near landfills, the article said the situation has likely become worse since then.Not only has water pollution increased, but a 2017 LARI study found every single water source in the country – including rivers and drinking water sources – to be contaminated to some degree.LARI has just begun testing the country's waters for its upcoming 2018 report. Afram predicts that the results will look similar, but with even higher levels of contamination. The chemicals found in Lebanon's waters are manifold, Afram said, with most of this chemical waste a result of industrial and agricultural dumping. While no studies have shed light on direct links between Lebanon's sea pollution and distinct health issues, Afram expressed total confidence that swimming along the coast poses a health risk.Lebanon's environmental crisis goes far beyond its waters.
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