Warning issued to Easter beachgoers about silver canisters
WITH the Queensland coastline likely to be a popular attraction this Easter school holiday period, the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) is reminding people to be aware of silver toxic canisters, which have been washing up along the coast recently.
QFRS Commissioner Lee Johnson urged anyone who comes across one of the canisters, to avoid handling it, as its contents could present a real and significant danger.
"Since February last year, a number of canisters have washed up along the Queensland coastline, and these canisters contain the highly dangerous chemical Aluminium Phosphide," Mr Johnson said.
There have been about six or seven that have been reported to have washed up in the Capricorn Coast region.
Mr Johnson said the canisters were about 30cm high and 15cm in diameter.
"QFRS Scientific officers have warned that the canisters could self-ignite if the chemical inside comes into contact with air or moisture, as it could generate a highly toxic phosphine gas," he said.
Mr Johnson reminded residents to call Triple Zero (000) immediately if they came across a canister.
"Do not try to pick it up or open it and keep a safe distance away from it," he said.
"This chemical is highly dangerous and presents significant health risks, even in the hands of trained experts. So it's vital that people are aware of the dangers and heed our warning."
Mr Johnson also urged parents and caregivers to adequately supervise children and pets while at the beach these school holidays.
"Canisters may easily be mistaken by children and pets as toys or something to play with. This curiosity, mixed with such a dangerous chemical, could prove fatal," he said.
"If it looks suspicious or out of place, put safety first, don't touch it and report it immediately to the authorities."