Strange susbtance identified in Santa Monica beach closure

Aug 6, 2015 1:45 AM

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) - Lifeguards say a substance that forced the closure of a section of beach in Santa Monica is a fatty acid not dangerous to humans.

Los Angeles County lifeguards said Wednesday night that they've learned the chunky white substance is linoleic (lihn-oh-LAY'-ick) acid, but they have yet to figure out where it came from. They say they collected enough to fill about half of a 55-gallon trash can.

Linoleic acid is found in plant foods like nuts and vegetable oils but also has industrial uses in paints and varnishes.

Once a hazardous materials team determined the substance was safe, cleanup began and the beach was soon reopened.

The water and shoreline immediately around the Santa Monica Pier had been closed off a few hours earlier when the chunks washed ashore.


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