Beach waste investigated

    A stretch of Avalon beach in New Jersey reopened today (8/27) after medical waste washed ashore. But the Attorney General’s office is continuing an investigation into the cause. From WHYY’s health and science desk Kerry Grens reports.

    A stretch of Avalon beach in New Jersey reopened today (8/27) after medical waste washed ashore. But the Attorney General’s office is continuing an investigation into the cause. From WHYY’s health and science desk Kerry Grens reports.

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    Transcript
    Avalon beach closed and reopened several times since the weekend after i.v. syringes, cotton swabs, and bottle caps littered the town’s shoreline. Scott Wahl, public information officer for the Borough of Avalon, says the waste occupied a suspiciously narrow stretch of beach.

    Wahl: We believe that the medical debris was dumped into the ocean. We have no idea of who did it, what the intent was, or whether Avalon was specifically targeted…And it is not our believe that this type of medical waste would wind up on a boat and accidentally fall off of it.

    Wahl said the Attorney General’s investigation is beginning to narrow down potential sources, but he could not comment further.

    Josh Kohut, an assistant professor at Rutgers University, says finding the source of items washing ashore is a complex task.

    Kohut: The location of where they actually wash up and how long depends a lot on how long that material was in the water, like you said, where it was initially put in. There’s many different types of currents particularly within about 50 miles of the beach that can concentrate material, that can disperse material.

    Avalon is ready for the busy labor day weekend — Wahl says the beaches are safe for visitors.

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