How does Palm Oil get on the beach and how does it affect dogs and humans ?

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Wirral Coastguard have warned children and dog walkers to stay from the area near of the black pearl in New Brighton today, as a palm oil substance has washed up on the beach.

What is Palm Oil ?

Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from the pulp of the fruit of African, American and Maripa palms.

It is used in processed foods, toiletries and as a biofuel.

Large ships also use palm oil as a tank cleaning agent.

How does it get on the beach ?

International law permits ships to offload palm oil residue while still at sea, as long as they are at least 12 nautical miles from the nearest land and in water.

Palm oil also finds its way into the marine environment when ships release the palm oil or ships collide at sea.

READ MORE: Coastguard warn people to stay away from parts of a Wirral beach due to contamination fears


Is palm oil safe ?

While palm oil is not usually poisonous to dogs, it can make them seriously ill and in some extreme circumstances it can kill.

It mostly has a laxative effect on dogs and, if eaten, can cause sickness, diarrhoea, dehydration and, in extreme cases, pancreatitis.

Palm oil is not toxic to humans but it’s best you keep small children away to be safe.

Wirral Coastguard said on their Facebook page: “If you come into contact with the substance, wash it off with soap and wash your clothes.

“If you believe your dog has been in contact with the substance and are concerned about their health, please contact your vet as soon as possible.

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