CANISTERS containing a toxic chemical continue to wash up on beaches in the state's north, police warn.

Since the discovery of the first container at Tuncurry in January, police have received reports of a number of other canisters washing up on beaches along the state's north coastline.

One of the canisters was also reportedly sighted at Arrawarra.

The metal objects are believed to contain rat poison (aluminium phosphide), which could be fatal if inhaled or ingested.

They are described as being about 30cm long and made of steel; there are no labels or markings on the canisters, and barnacles are growing on the exterior.

Police continue to urge members of the public to be on the lookout for the canisters and not to handle them if found.
Instead, Fire and Rescue NSW and police should be contacted on 000.

Police have been unable to locate the source of the canisters, but judging by the barnacle growth, it's believed they have been in the water for some time.

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