QPS Media

Toxic canister washes up on beach

THE mysterious toxic canisters which forced the evacuation of close to a dozen Queensland beaches in 2012 are back.

One of the silver canisters was found at Teewah Beach yesterday.

The canisters contain toxic aluminium phosphide, which can be fatal if inhaled or ingested.

Aluminium phosphide is a colourless, flammable and toxic gas.

Mild exposure by inhalation can cause a ringing in the ears, fatigue, nausea and pressure in the chest.

Firefighters were called to Teewah Beach, just near the Teewah township, about 11am.

They secured the canister in a protective case and delivered it to Queensland Fire and Rescue Service scientist branch officers from Brisbane.

Last year, a similar cannister cleared a Mooloolaba beach carpark.

At North Shore beach, Beachgoers at Pincushion Island on the Maroochy North Shore were told to keep back after the discovery of a second canister in January 2013.

The silver bottle was later revealed as an expired marine flare.

Canisters also have been found at Lady Elliot Island, in the southern Great Barrier Reef, northern New South Wales, Rockhampton and Townsville.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority believed the canisters originated as an accidental cargo loss from a vessel outside the Great Barrier Reef.

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