Toxic canisters washing up on beaches

There have been recent reports of metal canisters containing a hazardous substance, aluminium phosphide, washing up on several NSW beaches as far south as Bateman’s Bay. Fire and Rescue NSW issued a media release on 27 May 2013.

More canisters could be found on any NSW beaches.

Aluminium phosphide is a pesticide used for fumigating grain and rabbit control. It releases phosphine gas on exposure to air or moisture, which can be extremely dangerous if inhaled.

If you see one of these canisters:

  • call triple zero (000) immediately, request ‘Fire’ and wait in the area until the fire brigade arrives
  • stay well away from the canisters
  • do not inspect, handle, open or transport the canisters.

Further information on aluminium phosphide (PDF 786KB) is available from SafeWork NSW (formerly WorkCover).

Page last updated