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Twenty-two Los Angeles lifeguards have filed a grievance with L.A. city officials after developing bacterial respiratory problems and skin rashes following a swim exam.

Jasper Kim, the named lifeguard in the grievance, said he told his supervisors in the Aquatics Division of the Department of Recreation and Parks that the water in Hansen Dam Recreation Lake, a man-made freshwater lake, was unsafe for swimming due to a lack of testing for parasites. Three weeks later, one day before a swimming exam was scheduled, Kim again warned his supervisors.

The grievance states that the lifeguards were instructed to proceed with their swim exam regardless.

Following the exam, more than 20 city employees developed skin irritation and respiratory issues from the water. Known as “swimmer’s itch,” the rash is caused by an allergic reaction to microscopic parasites that infect some birds and mammals and are released into fresh and salt water by way of snails.

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