Florida Beaches Reopen: 400 Get Sick

The Escambia County Health Department lifted a health advisory on Pensacola Beach on Friday on the advice of a beach official and against the advice of a federal environmental official....[leaving] the decision to swim in the Gulf of Mexico up to the discretion of individual beachgoers.

The oil impact signs would be posted indefinitely and warn beachgoers that oil has washed up on the beaches. But... would not prohibit people from going swimming... would warn beachgoers to avoid touching oily product on the beach and in the water... would advise them leaving the beach and seeking medical help if they experience respiratory problems.

So far, 400 people have sought medical care for upper or lower respiratory problems, headaches, nausea, and eye irritation after trips to Escambia County beaches, Lanza said.

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