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The relationship between coastal tourism, sea pollution and public health: A case study from Turkey


Among the different impacts of coastal tourism on the environment, the effect of tourism on public health has special importance. The large increase in population during the high season results usually in an increase in the amount of waste water produced. If the necessary infrastructure for handling these wastes is not available, the sea is polluted, causing serious problems.

To investigate the effects of sea pollution on the public, a health survey was conducted in Bodrum and Çesme, the two most important tourist coastal resorts of Turkey. A questionnaire about the health problems which tourists suffer, as well as their culinary habits, swimming habits,etc. was distributed. At the same time the pollution level in the sea was determined in the form of coliform concentration. As a result it is shown that those swimming in polluted waters suffer more from gastro-intestinal diseases than others. Furthermore, foreigners (usually Scandinavians) and children are proved to be more susceptible to pollution, possibly due to their lack of immunity.

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Dr Günay Kocasoy is presently Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Bogaziçi University. Her fields of interest are in environmental engineering, water pollution and marine sciences. She obtained a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from Robert College, Istanbul, Turkey, and subsequently a BA in Industrial Administration from Franklin University, Columbus, Ohio, USA. Following more recent studies she possesses both an MS and a PhD in Marine Sciences from Istanbul University.

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Kocasoy, G. The relationship between coastal tourism, sea pollution and public health: A case study from Turkey. Environmentalist 9, 245–251 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02241824

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  • Waste Water
  • Health Problem
  • Turkey
  • Polluted Water
  • Environmental Management