Hypodermics on the Shore


Courtesy of ecochildsplay.com
Courtesy of ecochildsplay.com


Hundreds of syringe needles found in the beach? This sounds bizarre and unrealistic. However, this event has mysteriously repeated many times in different beaches across the United States. The first incident occurred in the summer of 1988 in the New Jersey shore. Vacationers wanting to enjoy their time on the beach suddenly saw garbage scattered around the shore. There were hypodermic needeles used for diabetic patients, used tampons, beer cans, bloody bandages, strofoam containers, and syringes. New Jersey Police investigations traced the harmful wastes to a New York Company assigned to properly dispose of the garbage. Instead, the trash was dumped into the Atlantic Ocean. Some syringes and other garbage drifted back into the shores of New York.

Although trash dumping regulations tightened, a similar case appeared in Huntington Beach a decade later. In 1999, hypodermic needles started drifting ashore at about 3:30 in the afternoon. A large amount of needles were found at the beach, more than a thousand. Fortunately, health officials discovered that the needles were unused. Still, the beach was closed as the lifeguards continued to clean up the scattered needles. Even today, water pollution has been a persistent and growing problem across the United States.

Medical wastes on the shore; courtesy of pbmo.wordpress.com
Medical wastes on the shore; courtesy of pbmo.wordpress.com


1) "BBC - H2g2 - The Years of Billy Joel's 'We Didn't Start The Fire' - 1964-1989 (Part 3)." BBC - Homepage. Web. 03 June 2011. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A2701513>.
I also used this source in another page. The BBC website is very informative, and it had summary of the "Syringe Tide."

2)"Beach Closed After Hypodermic Needles Found Washing In - Los Angeles Times." Featured Articles From The Los Angeles Times. 17 Sept. 1999. Web. 03 June 2011. <http://articles.latimes.com/1999/sep/17/local/me-11310>.
This site is a companion to the Los Angeles newspaper. It gave another example of "Hypodermics on the Shore" that happens throughout the United States.

3)Gross, Jane. "Beach Debris Still a Mystery; 77 Syringes Wash Up on S.I. - New York Times." The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. Web. 03 June 2011. <http://www.nytimes.com/1988/07/12/nyregion/beach-debris-still-a-mystery-77-syringes-wash-up-on-si.html>.
The article on this site is connected to the "Syringe Tide' in New Jersey. Officials found out that the wastes had come from New York, and one of the consequences of dumping the trash into the Ocean was that the tides returned some of it back to the city.

4)"Syringe Tide | PBMO." PBMO | A Collection of Interesting Things. Web. 1 June 2011. <http://pbmo.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/syringe-tide/>.
To give an example of what a "Syringe Tide" might have looked like, I found an image on this site. It showed how different wastes were seen on the shore.

5)"Doctor Recommends Avoiding Flu Shot, Taking Vitamin D Instead." Green and Natural Parenting for Eco-Friendly Families. Web. 02 June 2011. <http://ecochildsplay.com/2008/11/18/doctor-recommends-avoiding-flu-shot-vitamin-d-instead/>.
The picture of syringes came from this site. These syringes are some of the things found on the shores of beaches in the United States.