UPDATE: Council clears up toxic palm oil deposits on shoreline

The waxy substance, thought to be palm oil, is to be formally analysed.
The waxy substance, thought to be palm oil, is to be formally analysed.
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A clean up of the Adur and Worthing coastline has been completed after a ‘wax type substance’ was washed up on the shore yesterday.

Cleansing teams and parks and foreshore staff spent the morning removing chunks of the white deposit, believed to be palm oil.

Palm oil washed up on the beach in Seaford. Photo by Karen Hardy SUS-160504-105526001

Palm oil washed up on the beach in Seaford. Photo by Karen Hardy SUS-160504-105526001

Dog owners were warned earlier today that palm oil can be fatal to dogs if ingested. The councils are advising members of the public to avoid the substance and not to touch it.

Samples of the substance will be formally analysed for identification and it is hoped that the results will be known within the next few days.

A spokesperson for Adur and Worthing councils said: “If the substance is found to be a waxy mineral oil, as occurred in a similar incident in January, then the risk to the public would be low (as the most likely exposure route would be via skin contact).

“Should the substance be identified as vegetable material (such as palm oil) then human health risk is minimal; being a non-toxic, degraded edible fat or oil.​

Adur and Worthing councils' park and foreshores team cleaning the coastline

Adur and Worthing councils' park and foreshores team cleaning the coastline

“Until we receive confirmation of what this substance is made of we continue to advise dog owners to keep their pets away from the substance and for the public alike, to stay away from it and not to touch it.”

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