Police are warning that an industrial vacuum cleaner stolen from a pub in Swindon contained asbestos.
The yellow-coloured cleaner was taken from the Rodbourne Arms at the junction of Rodbourne Road and Whitworth Road on the night of 11/12 April.
A force spokesman said the appliance posed a health risk.
"We are appealing for anyone who took the cleaner or may be offered it to come forward and let us know where it is so it can be dealt with," he said.
"We are issuing an urgent warning over asbestos contamination... following confirmation from the pub owners that the cleaner contained the substance," he added.
Inhalation of asbestos fibres can cause death, lung cancer or debilitating breathing problems.
The Health and Safety Executive says the substance is responsible for some 4,000 deaths in the UK each year.