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Beach Closed After 'Hundreds' Of Hypodermic Needles Wash Ashore

Newport Beach (Photo by Jenni Konrad via the Creative Commons)
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A stretch of beach in Orange County is closed as officials pick up "hundreds" of hypodermic needles that washed ashore.On Monday, a Newport Beach Police officer was sent to the beach in the western part of the city, near the mouth of the Santa Ana River, after the department received multiple complaints. According to CBS 2, the officer picked up 75 needles.

The beach is popular with dog owners, who say they have been picking up needles on a daily basis to protect themselves and their animals. However, beachgoers say that over the weekend "hundreds" of the needles washed up.

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"It's not uncommon for whatever is in the river to wash up," Mike Pisani, Newport Beach's municipal operations director told the O.C. Register. "A lot of the syringes were found intertwined with vegetation, which is most of what washes up." It's not unusual for a lot of debris to wash up in the runoff after a heavy storm, like the one that hit over the weekend.

Officials have since closed the beach and have crews cleaning the sand after learning about the needles on Monday. Police say it's possible that the needles came from homeless encampments that are along the river.