MONMOUTH COUNTY, N.J. — Beachgoers in Monmouth County, New Jersey, encountered more than they bargained for Sunday when medical waste - including used syringes - washed up in two Jersey Shore towns.
Beach patrollers collected dozens of needles from the sands of beaches in Monmouth Beach and Long Branch, prompting lifeguards to warn visitors of the public health risk posed and to close some beaches temporarily, WNBC reported.
“I warned them, so there’s not much I can really do, you know?” Danielle Britton with the Monmouth Beach Bathing Pavilion told the TV station Sunday.
Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, a part of the Monmouth County park system, also confirmed to NJ Advance Media that needles and syringes were found Sunday, but normal operations had resumed by Monday morning.
“The ‘all clear’ was issued after the discovery of medical waste forced a beach closure for a portion of the day Sunday,” park officials said in a prepared statement posted to its website.
Meanwhile, Sea Bright, which lies north of both Monmouth Beach and Long Branch, has not intercepted any medical debris to date, a borough official told the outlet.
“Our beaches are open, we have not found anything,” beach operations manager Don Klein told NJ Advance Media on Monday.
The syringes have been washing ashore from Sandy Hook to Long Branch after several days of strong storms generated by Tropical Storm Elsa. The sewer systems in New York City and North Jersey bordering the New York Harbor release sewer overflow during heavy rain, WNBC reported.
Officials believe, based on past investigations, that the lion’s share of the needles found Sunday were likely from diabetic patients flushing their used needles down toilets, the TV station reported.
©2021 Cox Media Group