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Danger averted by Council Staff after toxic substance found on beach

Released: Monday, 20 March 2017

Quick-thinking council staff helped to avoid a potentially hazardous situation after a carton of hydrochloric acid washed up on Worthing beach.

Usually staff in Adur & Worthing Councils' call centre deal with issues such as fly-tipping, Council Tax bills or helping tourists find their way.

But the team at Worthing Town Hall were surprised to hear from a member of the public who claimed he had discovered the five litre container on the shore.

Unsure what to do with it, the Worthing resident said he had taken the hazardous substance back to his house - and called the local authority to find out what he should do.

Quick-thinking staff immediately responded and dispatched a member of the Councils' waste and cleansing team to dispose of it properly.

Cllr Clive Roberts, Worthing Borough Council's Executive Member for the Environment, said:

“We are fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful areas of the UK with a vibrant collection of flora and fauna.”

“Thanks to the quick-thinking nature of the our Council staff a potentially damaging environmental situation was averted.”

“Usually in this situation we advise resident to dispose of hazardous chemicals at the Household Waste Recycling Sites either in Brighton Road, Shoreham or Willowbrook Road, Worthing.”

Hydrochloric acid is a highly corrosive substance which can burn skin on contact. Inhalation can cause irritation of the eyes and nose, with sore throats, headaches, fever, tachycardia and confusion all potential side effects.

For more details on disposing of hazardous materials call:

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