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Beach Health Warning Over Mystery Substance

praa sands beach
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3:16pm 24th October 2013
(Updated 3:16pm 24th October 2013)

There is a public health warning over a waxy, white substance on Cornwall's beaches.

It is already being blamed for killing one dog - and making two others seriously ill.

Now doctors say we should avoid it too.

It has been found at Porthcurno, Penzance and Praa Sands, but experts fear it could wash up at other beaches too.

On Thursday morning warning signs were going up at places like Porth Chapel, Marazion and Rinsey.

Dr Femi Oshin, from the Devon, Cornwall and Somerset Public Health England Centre, said: "We are advising people to avoid contact with the substance - at this stage we are not aware of any human health issues but 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."

Tasha Hinds walks her two dogs on Praa Sands. She said: "It can be so difficult because you could not be watching your dog for a moment - you turn round and you don't know what it's eaten. You wouldn't know it might have consumed this substance.

"It's just such a scary thought you could take your dog for a walk on the beach and it end in tragedy."

3:16pm 24th October 2013

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