Are holidaymakers in danger of finding asbestos on beaches?

adult-1807500_1920

We’re very lucky in the UK to have access to a wide variety of beautiful beaches but heartbreakingly sometimes these great natural resources hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons. So are holidaymakers in danger of finding asbestos on beaches?

Where was asbestos on beaches found?

Earlier this week an investigation was launched in Carmarthenshire into reports that asbestos has been found on Burry Port Beach near the site of an old power station.

Carmarthenshire council has been reassuring the public that the wet conditions of the beach means the material poses very ‘little risk’ however they are asking people not to touch or move the material so that it can be properly assessed and dealt with.

Meanwhile, the local mayor has called for the beach to be cordoned off and worryingly has been quoted by the BBC as saying ‘you can pick up pieces of asbestos that are flaky and powdery,’ adding that children had been ‘seen building sandcastles with bits of asbestos’.

Sadly, it is not the first occasion that asbestos on beaches has been found in the locality. It was confirmed to be in the area in 2000 after it was identified from Carmarthen Bay Power Station records.

Even more sadly it is not the only place where asbestos on beaches has been found.

More examples of finding asbestos on beaches?

Other areas which have been hit include the popular Mount Batten beach in Plymouth which had to be completely closed twice in 2019 by the authorities after a large amount of asbestos was found on the sand.

Prestwick Beach in Ayrshire was closed at the end of July 2016 after asbestos material was discovered. On this occasion, councillors reportedly suspected it was the result of fly-tipping.

In 2013, it was reported 15 kilos of asbestos was collected from Minster beach in Kent. Warning signs were erected and the local council carried out regular checks in the area so it could remove any items safely.

Unsurprisingly, this issue is not confined to our shores. Back in April of this year, one of the most exclusive beaches in Sydney, Australia, known as Little Bay Beach, had to be closed for two weeks after asbestos fragments were discovered in the area.

Such discoveries of asbestos on beaches put locals and holiday makers at risk and can be devastating for the areas’ tourism and hospitality sectors that rely on visitors for their livelihood.

asbestos on beaches

No one wants to see such precious places spoiled or the public banned from using them. This is one of the many reasons that if you own a property or site containing asbestos you must make sure the material is either correctly disposed of or properly managed.

We don’t want asbestos on beaches polluting our watercourses and rivers and ending up on our beaches. We don’t want people panicking about what to do with their asbestos and dumping it at our beauty spots.

Aside from the significant public health danger that asbestos can cause; if you are found to have failed to manage asbestos correctly you could be prosecuted and face huge fines or a custodial sentence.

If you own a property or a site which contains asbestos and aren’t sure how to manage it safely you can contact Acorn for a free 30-minute video call so we can assess your current asbestos compliance status.

Finally, if you’re exploring our wonderful beaches this May half term holiday or during the summer holidays we hope you have lots of fun but if you do spot something that you suspect could be asbestos on beaches make sure you let the authorities know immediately so it can be dealt with safely.

By working together we can protect our environment and ensure we only find shells, footprints and happy families on our beaches.

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 the 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

Neil Munro

I work in a dual role at Acorn Analytical Services focused primarily on growing and leading the business from our Northampton office base. My focus is on overseeing all sales, marketing and financial activities from Northampton. I assist clients with high-level asbestos management strategies and training. Together with Ian Stone I host our weekly podcast – Asbestos Knowledge Empire and I'm Co-author of Asbestos The Dark Arts and Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety.

Need Help? Request a Call Back

Request a call back from one of our expert Asbestos Consultants who will help you identify what you need

More Asbestos Articles

It's estimated about 20% of the population of England and Wales use water supplies that have passed though asbestos cement pipework.

How safe are our water supplies from asbestos?

A few weeks ago, we read an interesting editorial about concerns that water supplies in America and Canada may contain asbestos. The opinion piece appeared in The Altamont Enterprise in Albany County, New York, and was called We shouldn’t play Russian roulette with our water supply. It raised concerns about a water main break in … Read more

Are you doing everything you can be to be asbestos-safe?

20 years after the use of asbestos was banned in the UK will we ever be asbestos-safe?

Have you ever considered if the UK will ever be asbestos-safe? Here at Acorn Analytical Services we are regularly asked by clients and friends if we think there is enough asbestos left in the country to see us out. Sadly, the answer is yes and not just us but generations to come. Any building built … Read more

Acorn Analytical Services director Ian Stone has worked in the asbestos industry for 20 years.

Acorn director has spent 20 years in asbestos industry fighting hidden killer

This month it is 20 years since Acorn Analytical Services director Ian Stone first entered the asbestos industry. We caught up with Ian to find out how his career in the asbestos industry began and what changes he has seen along the way. Ian, what made you want to join the asbestos industry? When I … Read more

How often do you wonder if you’re at risk from asbestos at home?

Is asbestos at home a worry for you?

How often do you wonder if you’re at risk from asbestos at home?  It’s probably not something that many people think about in their daily lives but frighteningly homes up and down the UK are riddled with asbestos. Asbestos can be found in a surprisingly high number of places throughout our homes, including in ceilings, … Read more

If you are embarking on a building or renovation project contact a professional team of asbestos experts before work gets underway.

Asbestos experts save lives

A court case in recent weeks has highlighted once again why it is so important to turn to asbestos experts before you start any type of building work. Salisbury Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 8 September 2018, Robert Angell undertook work to remove asbestos-containing material (ACM) while renovating a pub in Trowbridge, Wiltshire. An investigation … Read more

Asbestos in schools remains a problem in the UK

Should we be worried about asbestos in schools?

Earlier this year we launched a hard-hitting campaign to raise awareness about the issue of asbestos in schools. Shockingly, in some of our cities and towns, more than 80% of schools have an asbestos problem and every year hundreds of people die here after being exposed to asbestos in schools as children. There have also … Read more

Working from home gives organisations the chance to find out if their workplace contains asbestos

Use working from home time to tackle the worry of asbestos

As millions of workers return to working from home this week to curb the spread of Covid-19 did you know this could be one of your best opportunities to make your workplace safer? It may come as a surprise to a lot of people but asbestos is actually the world’s biggest workplace killer. We’ve made … Read more

Asbestos in the workplace can kill if it is not managed properly.

Asbestos in the workplace is a killer

At Acorn Analytical Services, we are all too well aware that asbestos in the workplace can kill if it is not managed properly. This Sunday, our staff – along with millions of other people across the UK – will stop what they’re doing and observe a minute’s silence to mark National Workplace Day of Remembrance … Read more

If you or your staff are working in the vicinity of asbestos and you fail to wear RPE correctly the consequences could be severe.

The dangers of not wearing RPE correctly

Being out on the frontline helping organisations to manage their asbestos safely means we’re no strangers to wearing RPE. For anyone who doesn’t know RPE stands for Respiratory Protective Equipment and it comes in two main types – respirators and breathing apparatus. RPE is one of the most essential pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) … Read more

Lung disease is a threat to construction workers

Construction workers warned about lung disease

Every week construction workers in the UK are dying from lung disease because they have inhaled hazardous substances at work. The seriousness of the situation prompted the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to deliver an awareness campaign during recent weeks whilst its inspectors carried out health-related site inspections. Construction workers have a high risk of … Read more