A five-litre container of highly-corrosive acid was found washed up recently on Worthing beach.
Staff in Worthing Borough Councils’ call centre were contacted by a member of the public who claimed he had discovered a large container of hydrochloric acid 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.
The call centre staff immediately dispatched a member of the councils’ waste and cleansing team to dispose of it properly.
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, rapid heart rate and confusion all potential side effects.
Councillor 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.”
For more details on disposing of hazardous materials call West Sussex County Council’s Waste Management Services Unit on 01243 777 595.