Beach visitors and Town lifeguards have reported that health effects including eye irritation, itchy throat, and coughing are being experienced in areas along the shoreline within the Town of Palm Beach. In an abundance of caution, the Town’s beaches are closed at this time.
On Saturday, September 29, 2018, the Florida Department of Health Palm Beach County issued a health advisory due to people experiencing respiratory issues and eye irritation along the beaches in Palm Beach County. The Florida Department of Health Palm Beach County, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife are investigating the potential causes of the irritation. The Florida Fish and Wildlife has taken water samples from ten (10) different locations and has sent those samples to their laboratory in Sarasota for testing. Results from that testing are expected today, or Tuesday, October 2, 2018.
People with respiratory problems (such as asthma, emphysema or bronchitis) should avoid the beach area at this time. Anyone who goes to the beach and experiences symptoms including eye irritation, itchy throat, and coughing should leave the beach area and seek air conditioning (A/C). If symptoms persist, please seek medical attention or call 911.
While the cause of this airborne irritant is unknown at this time, the Town is in contact with the Department of Health and is awaiting updates at this time.