About 70 medical vials that have washed ashore on San Diego County beaches in the past two days may contain penicillin, health officials said Monday.
"The white or yellowish-white powder looked outdated," said Gary Stephany, environmental health director for the county Department of Health Services. "It looked like the type of medicine someone just tossed in the ocean, although I hope no one tossed it there. It appears to be the same substance that washed up on beaches two years ago. Some (of those) had a military mark, and the Navy admitted that some of it was theirs."
On Monday, the Navy offered its assistance in analyzing the substance, and preliminary tests revealed that it may be penicillin, Stephany said.
Two years ago, several items out of a slew of medically related waste that washed up along county beaches were traced to Navy ships and a military supply depot in Northern California. However, federal prosecutors concluded that there was insufficient evidence to file criminal charges, and investigators were unable to trace the origin of most of the waste.