Scores of mini gas canisters, used as a form of solvent abuse, have been found dumped on playing fields in Dunfermline.
A large number of nitrous oxide canisters were recovered from Pitreavie Playing Fields in the town this week.
The canisters are often used to inhale the “laughing gas”, which gives a quick high but can also trigger dizziness and blackouts.
Users also run the risk of falling unconscious or suffocating from lack of oxygen.
Regular use can also stop the body from forming white blood cells properly.
Fife Council’s safer communities team issued a warning after the canisters were discovered by local authority staff on Monday.
It read: “Inhaling nitrous oxide directly from the canister is very dangerous – it can cause spasm of the throat muscle and prevent breathing.
“People have died this way.
“Our youth justice officer has already be in touch with youth work colleagues, who will be talking about the dangers when out and about engaging with young people and it will be highlighted by our Barnardos colleagues during their sessions in schools talking about substance use.
“Please help educate those you know on the dangers – it may seem like fun and games, but it is very dangerous.”
The warning also noted the dangers of leaving the canisters, which could be picked up by animals or children.
Dunfermline South councillor James Calder described the discovery of so many canisters as “very concerning”.
He added: “Use of the canisters poses an enormous safety concern and I’ll be speaking with officers from the Safer Communities team to see how we can deal with this issue.
“The playing fields are used by a great many people and many youngsters who may not know what the canisters are if they come into contact with them.
“Not only do they pose a health risk for the user, it’s also unacceptable for them to be discarded in such a way.
“I urge anyone who may have information about this find or about use of such substances to contact Fife Council or the police immediately.”
This incident was not reported to police but Inspector Jim Moss of Dunfermline Police Station said patrols of the area will be stepped up.
He said: “I would like to remind the public that nitrous oxide can be an extremely harmful substance.
“Officers will be patrolling the local area and anyone who has any concerns, should contact Police Scotland on 101.”