Medical Waste Washes Up on Jersey Beaches

It's another magical summer at the shore

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Beaches were closed in some Ocean County towns earlier this week after medical waste washed ashore.

    A gross display greeted some New Jersey beachgoers Sunday when medical waste began washing up at high tide along an eight-mile stretch of beach from North Surf City to Barnegat Light.

    Medical items including, syringes, medical tubing, catheters, specimen bottles and medical waste bags began washing ashore along with larger debris like wooden planks and other trash, said health department officials.

    Medical Waste Washes Up in Ocean County

    [PHI] Medical Waste Washes Up in Ocean County
    Hear from the people who saw what washed up along an eight-mile stretch of the Jersey Shore. (Published Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009)

    The medical junk also littered beaches in other Ocean County towns including Long Beach, Frazier Park and Harvey Cedars, according to authorities.

    Lifeguards cleared and closed the beaches as crews came in to clean up the mess.

    It all appeared to be an isolated incident, said Ocean County health officials.

    All the beaches reopened Monday but questions remained about the origination of the medical junk. Authorities want to know if the waste washed up from a landfill or if it was dumped into the ocean.

    One theory was that the waste came from a North Jersey landfill after getting washed out by rain storms and currents then carried it down shore to Barnegat Light and points south.

    Investigators were also trying to find out who dumped the waste in the first place.

    As of Wednesday all beaches remained clear.The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection was flying over the beaches daily to ensure that no more waste came ashore.