Read The Atlantic
Guanabara Bay, the site of several 2016 Olympic sailing events, hasÂ 78 times Brazilâ€™sÂ legally allowed limit of fecal pollution, and 195 times the U.S. limit. In addition to human waste,Â the bay is alsoÂ a receptacle for trash from ships and the bay’s 15 adjacent communities, as well as toxic runoff from a former landfill. And its not just Guanabaraâ€“the ritzyÂ Leblon and Ipanema beachÂ areasÂ are plagued withÂ similar pollution problems. The state environmental agency, INEA,Â found thatÂ Leblon and Ipanema were unfit for swimming for 40 percent of 2011. Botafogo Beach had so much fecal pollution that it did not pass a single INEA test in 2013,Â according to theÂ BBC.
“In the waters just off Copacabana beach, the measurement of fecal coliform bacteria spiked to 16 times the Brazilian government’s satisfactory level as recently as three weeks ago, bad news for the marathon swimmers and triathletes set to compete there,” theÂ AP noted in November.
Olympic teams are getting grossed out and nervous.
Photo by Rodrigo_Soldon