Concerns raised about asbestos on British beach

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Most of us love a seaside holiday but sadly one of Britain’s beaches hit the headlines last week for all the wrong reasons.

You may remember that back in May we ran a blog on ‘Are holidaymakers in danger of finding asbestos on beaches?’ which highlighted a number of British beaches where asbestos had been discovered, including Burry Port Beach in Camarthenshire.

The east beach at Burry Port lies close to the site of a former power plant which was demolished 20 years ago, and it’s believed that this is where the asbestos debris discovered on the beach has come from.

Sadly, the beach was in the national news again at the weekend as campaigners highlighted their efforts to get asbestos waste removed from the area.

According to reports by the BBC, a local campaign group has paid for tests which found asbestos on the beach, where children play. They say that when the power plant was demolished, the rubble, waste and asbestos that lined the plant’s chimneys were buried instead of removed from the site. The campaigners fear that coastal erosion is now spreading the asbestos even further afield.

This legacy of asbestos has come as a shock to locals who had hoped the demolition of the power station would lead to better things for the area. Instead, some have gone on the record to say they won’t let their families visit the area anymore because they’re worried about the risks to their health.

The campaigners’ findings are at odds with the local council. Whilst the local authority has put up signs in the area warning people material which may contain asbestos had been found and it is taking steps to remove any visible material, the council has also said its own tests in the area found ‘low risk’ asbestos.

Not having been onsite ourselves it wouldn’t be right for us to say how great a risk the asbestos in this area poses to public health.

However, what is not up for debate is that the presence of asbestos in this seaside venue is damaging its reputation and causing concern for those living near, or visiting, the area.

The word ‘asbestos’ triggers a lot of emotions in people. Most people aren’t aware of how extensively asbestos was used in this country during the second half of the 20th century or of the fact the material remains in many UK buildings today. However, increasingly over the years many people will have seen tragic stories about asbestos’ devastating ability to cut short people’s lives through a variety of life-threatening conditions, including mesothelioma and asbestosis.

If asbestos is correctly managed by experts it should not pose a danger to people’s health but if it is disturbed it releases fibres which are incredibly dangerous.

It is therefore imperative that if you own a site or a building containing asbestos, and potentially any building erected in the UK before 2000 could contain asbestos, that you identify where it is and take steps to manage it properly.

If you are looking to demolish a building erected before 2000 it is highly advisable to undertake an Asbestos Demolition Survey. When our expert consultants carry out asbestos demolition surveys we locate and describe all asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) within a building. This is the best way to make sure that everyone working and visiting the demolition site are kept safe from harm and helps to ensure that all the asbestos is safely removed from the site.

When it comes to Asbestos Removal Management, using an experienced and knowledgeable project manager will ensure your asbestos projects are completed on time, within budget and to the highest standards.

Whether your project is complicated or small and simple, it’s essential it’s completed correctly; not only so the works are finished to the correct standard but to ensure that the works during the project are also performed in the correct manner and with the appropriate safeguards.

Projects that involve potentially working with asbestos are often out of the comfort zone of the main works that are being undertaken. Whether it’s the refurbishment of an area, demolition or a stand-alone piece of work, the route to full compliance with asbestos law can be daunting. Understanding and undertaking your duties can be an equally daunting task, let alone the small matter of getting the right job done for the right price in the right time scale.

Hiring an organisation like ours to take control of your asbestos removal management can save you time and money and make sure you are fully compliant with the law and are keeping people safe.

Sadly, every year thousands of people in Britain die as a result of asbestos. At Acorn, we’re doing all we can to educate the construction industry and the wider public about the dangers of asbestos so that together we can work towards bringing those numbers down.

So, if you need help to find out whether your property contains asbestos or need help managing it or removing it safely get in touch so we can help you.

Acorn is a professional asbestos consultancy helping organisations deal with asbestos compliance using asbestos surveysasbestos air testing, and asbestos removal management. Please call one of the team, or use our online form to obtain your free quotation. If you would like further information or advice on asbestos and asbestos training, contact the team on 0844 818 0895 or Contact Us

Ian Stone

I am based out of our Northampton office but regularly travel to meet with new and existing clients. I have assisted thousands of clients over the years on varying-sized projects, several have been schemes totalling over one million pounds spent purely on asbestos. Together with Neil Munro, I host our weekly podcast – Asbestos Knowledge Empire and I am Co-author of Asbestos The Dark Arts and Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety.

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