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California

Dockweiler State Beach closed after medical waste washes ashore

Dockweiler State Beach remained closed Thursday after medical waste, including hypodermic needles, was found along the shoreline.

Tampon applicators and condoms were found on the beach Wednesday between Ballona Creek and Grand Avenue, according to the Los Angeles County Public Health Department. Warning signs were posted after water sample results showed bacteria levels exceeded state standards.

The beach will be closed until further notice. Public health officials are investigating the origin of the debris.

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County spokeswoman Tonya Durrell told reporters the waste was not toxic and “does not pose a threat to the public.” But health officials urged beach visitors and area residents to avoid contact with the water, sand and any items that washed on shore.

According to Heal the Bay, a nonprofit environmental group, the waste could be related to last week’s storm.  The storm prompted the Hyperion Treatment Plant to divert 200 million gallons of waste water to a one-mile sewage pipe.

Waste trapped in a one-mile sewage pipe for some time was flushed out into the Santa Monica Bay, according to Heal the Bay.

Cleaning crews worked overnight to remove the unsanitary items off the beach.

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