The Inertia

Hazmat Cleans Up Fatty Acids Washed Ashore in Santa Monica

Nobody knew what to think of the white substance that had washed ashore near the Santa Monica pier Wednesday. Lifeguards did their due diligence and closed the area of the beach where something they’d later describe as a “fatty acid.” County Hazmat, local fire and even the U.S. Coastguard were notified and put to the task of cleaning it up overnight. What’d they find? After filling up around half of a 55-gallon trash can with the substance, they’d determined it was linoleic acid. Maybe the disturbing part of the whole discovery is to see where you can find half a 55-gallon drum worth of linoleic acid that ends up in the ocean:

  • oil based paints
  • varnishes
  • cooking oils
  • CLA pills or tablets (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)
  • acne care products
  • skin care/anti aging creams

So while the clean up is complete and authorities insist nothing toxic is in the area there’s still a worrisome question to answer. If something this random could end up in our ocean then what else do we need to start looking out for?

Do you feel any better after Hazmat declared this isn’t toxic?

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