Mystery beach substance

The public are being warned to avoid a mystery, waxy substance that has appeared on some Cornish beaches. It is particularly hazardous to dogs. Samples have been sent for tests and the Council is organising a clean-up.

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Warnings to keep away

People are being told to keep away from a waxy white substance that's washed up on a number of beaches along the south coast.

Public Health England believes the pollution to be vegetable oil based.

The beaches affected include Praa Sands, Porthcurno and Penzance.

Mystery substance on rocks on Cornish beach Credit: ITV News West Country

Warnings over dangerous "vegetable fat" on beach

People are being warned to stay away from a substance that's washed up on beaches in West Cornwall.

Public health officials have been testing it and think it might be a type of vegetable fat.

It's been found on eleven beaches including Praa Sands and Prussia Cove.

Warning signs have been put up and people are also being told not to swim or surf in the water.

Francesa Carpenter reports.

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Fears over waxy substance on Cornish beaches

People are being warned to stay away from a waxy substance that's washed up on beaches in West Cornwall.

Public health officials believe it is a type of vegetable fat.

It's been found on eleven beaches including Praa Sands and Prussia Cove.

Signs are being put up warning people of the possible dangers and they're also being told not to swim or surf in water where it is present. Dr Mark Kealy is from the Health Protection Agency, South West.

Statement on mystery substance: dog owners warned

If you do come into contact with the substance, please wash it off using normal soap or shower gel and water and wash your clothes. If you’re concerned that the substance may be making you unwell or you have related health concerns, please contact your GP or out of hours GP service. We are aware of reports of the substance having an effect on dogs, who may have licked or tried to eat it. We’d advise all dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead when walking them on these affected beaches.

– Dr Femi Oshin, Public Health England

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