- Associated Press - Thursday, August 6, 2015

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) - A section of beach in Santa Monica is open Thursday following a brief closure caused when a substance later determined to be a fatty acid washed ashore.

Los Angeles County lifeguards said late Wednesday that the chunky white substance was linoleic (lihn-oh-LAY’-ick) acid - but they have yet to figure out where it came from. A hazardous materials team determined it was not dangerous to humans.

Crews collected enough of the stuff 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.

The water and shoreline immediately around the Santa Monica Pier was closed for several hours Wednesday when the chunks washed ashore.

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