California beach health testing slumps

The Los Angeles Times says health testing at California beaches has dipped to its lowest level since tests became mandatory more than a decade ago - and that could put beachgoers at greater risk of infection.

The Times on Monday says its analysis of state records shows that the number of annual tests for bacteria has dropped by nearly half since 2005 and some beaches are going untested for months at a time.

Some blame budget cuts but the governor's office says the state is still funding testing at a 90-percent level.

At the same time, beach closures also have fallen sharply - by 74 percent since 2005. That's at least partly because wastewater treatment efforts have made the water much cleaner. But critics says less testing also could mean dirty water's going undetected.

Information from: Los Angeles Times

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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