NASG HEAD, N.C. — The U.S. Coast Guard says one of the containers lost from a cargo ship in rough seas off North Carolina’s Outer Banks contained almost 6,000 pounds of sulfuric acid, but an official says it poses little threat to the environment.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reports Coast Guard spokesman Ronald Hodges cites the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in saying the environmental danger is minimal because sulfuric acid dissolves in saltwater.

Sulfuric acid is most commonly used to produce fertilizer.

The cargo ship Maersk Shanghai reported to the Coast Guard late Saturday that rough seas of up to 30 feet and winds up to 65 miles per hour knocked overboard about 70 of its 3,000 containers about 17 miles off Oregon Inlet. The Coast Guard has found four of the containers.

Information from: The Virginian-Pilot,