OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- The state Ecology and Agriculture Departments have a request for grain ships off the Washington coast: Hey, stop throwing those pesticide canisters overboard.

In the past two years about 65 empty canisters have been found on ocean beaches. Some still contain residual amounts of aluminum phosphide -- a fumigant used in the holds of ships to control insects.

The Ecology Department's Dale Jensen says models indicate the likely source of the canisters are bulk grain ships from Columbia River, Grays Harbor, Puget Sound and British Columbia ports carrying corn, oats, soybeans and wheat across the Pacific.

Any beachcombers finding a canister should move it away from the waterline and notify the Ecology Department. Do not remove the plastic lid.

Copyright 2009 The AP.

Recommended for you