An Angus councillor has raised concerns after finding nearly 50 discarded canisters that previously contained a potentially lethal gas at Montrose Beach, leading to calls restricting the sale of the items.
Montrose and District Independent councillor Tommy Stewart was walking at the beach when he found the small, silver canisters on a grass verge.
Checking the wording on the side of the capsules, he was alarmed to find that they had contained nitrous oxide gas, also known as laughing gas.
The gas has legitimate uses in the medical, automotive and food sectors, and is most popularly used to whip cream, but it has also been linked to recreational drug use – with potentially fatal consequences.
Mr Stewart said: “Having conducted research into this gas, including speaking to authorities, I was appalled to learn such an easily available product is being abused.”
Roz Gittins, director of pharmacy at drug and alcohol charity Addaction said: “Nitrous oxide is a medical gas which is commonly used during child birth and dental procedures.
“Breathing problems may occur when large amounts of the gas is inhaled over a short amount of time or in an enclosed space if the person cannot breath in enough oxygen. It may also cause burns due to coldness if inhaled directly from a canister.”