Toxic canisters wash up in Queensland

More canisters containing a potentially lethal chemical have washed up on Queensland beaches.

Three canisters containing aluminium phosphide, which authorities warn can be fatal if inhaled, have been discovered on beaches in central Queensland this month.

A canister was located on Lady Elliot Island on December 10, a second canister was discovered at Rules Beach, while a third was reported to police at Deep Creek south of Gladstone on Sunday morning.

Their discovery comes after four canisters were washed up along a 200km stretch of coastline from Ayr to Ingham in the months since February.

Police are re-issuing their warning for beachgoers to avoid the canisters if they spot them and immediately call triple zero.

The deadly chemical they contain is used to fumigate ships, and it's believed the canisters came from a passing vessel.

"For safety's sake, should anyone find one, I urge them to immediately report it by calling triple zero," Gladstone District Officer Glenn Kachel said in a statement.

"Do not inspect the contents, open the canister or transport it."

Aluminium phosphide generates phosphine gas when it comes into contact with air or moisture and can also self-ignite in certain conditions.

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