Hundreds of birds have been washed-up along the south coast, covered in an unidentified "creamy, waxy substance".
"At the moment, the best guess is there are around 100 birds ashore, and there are concerns the birds are affected in as widespread a region as from Cornwall to Sussex," he explained.
"We would urge anyone who finds any of these birds to contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.
We do not know what this substance is or where it has come from yet, but we do know it is not fuel.
Originally posted by ArMaP
Last week (I think it was) we had some really bad weather, with strong winds (when compared with those that we usually have) and strong rain, but what was strange was that the windows, after the rain, looked like if the water drops that were left on the glass had some wax-like substance, I even tried pass my finger over them and the marks remained, unlike the normal rain drop marks.
I wonder if it was the same substance and what that substance is.
Originally posted by astra001uk
uk.news.yahoo.com... it seems these birds are covered in an unknown sticky substance that is causing the birds to be unable to fly no one seems to know what the sbstance is or where it has come from
6 February 2013 Last updated at 14:49
A substance which has been covering birds on the south coast is an oil additive, a university has said.
Polyisobutylene is a colorless to light yellow viscoelastic material. It is generally odorless and tasteless, though it may exhibit a slight characteristic odor.
As a fuel additive, polyisobutylene has detergent properties. When added to diesel fuel, it resists fouling of fuel injectors, leading to reduced hydrocarbon and particulate emissions. It is blended with other detergents and additives to make a "detergent package" that is added to gasoline and diesel fuel to resist buildup of deposits and engine knock.
Prof Rowland said he was aware of only one other incident of the "relatively common" substance being spilled in 1994.
But despite spills being "comparatively rare", he added that it would be difficult to trace the source.
He said: "It's probably transported around the world.
"Whether we can find out if it was spilled would require a cargo sample to compare it with."