Dumping medical waste at sea could mean loss of license

    The New Jersey Assembly has unanimously approved a bill to revoke the license of any health-care professional who dumps medical waste in the ocean.

    Assemblyman Nelson Albano, one of the main sponsors of the legislation, said it sends a strong message to medical professionals.

    “If you think it’s going to be financially better for you to dump out to sea, you get caught you’re putting a lot on the line,” he said. “You’re putting your financial status on the line, your license, and everything else.”

    The legislation is still awaiting action in the Senate. It was prompted by an incident in 2008, just before Labor Day, when used needles washed up on the beach at Avalon and forced the beaches to close. The needles were traced to a dentist who dumped them in the ocean.

    Albano said it resulted in the loss of millions of dollars in tourism revenue.

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