Toxic canisters containing aluminium phosphide.
Toxic canisters containing aluminium phosphide. Contributed

Second toxic canister washes up on Lady Elliot Island

A HAZARDOUS canister of aluminium phosphide was removed from Lady Elliot Island, near Bundaberg, on Monday.

The canister was one of many that have washed up along the Queensland coastline in recent weeks, and the second found at Lady Elliot.

Volunteer Marine Rescue spokesman Graham Kingston said the VMR had been asked to transport Queensland Fire and Rescue Service officers to Lady Elliot after a water police vessel encountered engine problems about 13 nautical miles south of the island.

The VMR vessel Bundy Rescue met the water police vessel in slight seas and transferred two QFRS officers and their safety equipment.

The staff from Lady Elliot Island Resort then used a dive boat to transfer the QFRS officers to the island, where the hazardous canister was secured in an airtight container for transport to the mainland.

Aluminium phosphide is used as fumigant for rodents and insects. It is believed the canisters may have been destined for hold fumigation on a cargo ship.

The material in the containers generates toxic phosphine gas on contact with air or moisture. Canisters should not be opened.

In many cases labels have washed off the canisters, so any aluminium bottle shaped canisters on the beach should be treated with suspicion.

Phone 000 if you find one.



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