Beaches In Los Angeles Close After Needles And Tampons Wash Ashore

A number of beaches in Los Angeles were closed down on Thursday, and for a good reason. The beaches were closed to the public after a number of items washed ashore. Some of those items that washed up on the beach included needles, tampons, and condoms.

Health officials announced that the beaches were closed on Thursday, due to medical waste. According to CBS, on Wednesday evening, the County of Los Angeles' of Public Health declared that an official beach closure was in effect, and the closure affected Dockweiler State Beach from Ballona Creek to Grand Avenue, located in Playa Del Rey.

According to the Los Angeles Times, water samples were taken, and it was revealed that bacteria levels exceeded state standards. After this became known, warning signs were posted.

As of now, the beaches are still closed and they will remain closed until further notice. The origin of the debris is not known, but public health officials in Los Angeles are trying to find out where it came from.

Tonya Durrell, a spokeswoman for Los Angeles County, said the waste wasn't toxic. She also said the waste didn't pose any threat to the public. However, health officials did urge visitors to the beaches to stay out of the water, as well as to avoid contact with sand and any other items that washed up on the beaches.

Last week, there was a storm that happened in Los Angeles, and Heal The Bay, which is a nonprofit environmental group, said the waste could be related to that storm. The storm that struck Los Angeles caused the Hyperion Treatment Plant to divert hundreds of millions of gallons of waste water to a one-mile sewage pipe.

Heal The Bay said that the some of the waste that ended up being trapped in the sewage pipe was flushed out into the Santa Monica Bay. The group also tweeted out a photo, showing what looked like a tampon applicator floating in the water.

According to the Sun Herald, a spokesman for Heal The Bay said people need to start thinking through what happens during heavy flows. The spokesman added that people should be throwing their needles and debris away in the trash and not flush them down the toilet. He said that it will end up in the ocean, which will be turned into a cesspool.

Cleaning crews removed the items off the beach, and they worked throughout the night to clean up.

[Image via Ricardo Diaz/Flickr/CC BY 2.0]