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Asbestos dumped by fly-tippers
AN investigation has been launched after asbestos was dumped amid a housing estate – just yards away from a children’s play area.
A large pile was also found within the forest in Coxford.
Community leaders and residents have condemned the fly-tipping.
They fear that people’s health could have been jeopardised if they picked up the deadly material, which if damaged can release fibres that result in serious illness, including malignant lung cancer mesothelioma.
The incident was reported to the highways inspector – but his team refused to move the dangerous material, instead gating it off before a specialist team wearing masks and overalls arrived to clear it away.
Now an appeal has been launched to help track down the fly-tippers.
If brought to justice they could be fined up to £50,000 or imprisoned.
Coxford ward councillor Don Thomas, who alerted the authorities about the asbestos, said: “To dump it in a wood next to a play area where young children play and have fun is just appalling.
“The effect of fly-tipping and the harm it creates on our environment is at all times bad enough, but this is on another level, it is a selfish act of irresponsibility.
“Everyone knows and understands the dangers of asbestos.
“I hope anyone who may have seen anything or have any information gets in touch with the authorities.”
Outraged resident Les Lovell said: “What bothers me is the thought that you will have kids wanting to chuck it about and break it.
“It was a considerable amount.”
Neighbour Lynda Creswell said: “I get so angry at fly-tippers and if you think it is asbestos, that’s absolutely criminal because you are damaging people’s health.
“Fly-tipping is one thing but to dump something like that?”
Among the dump, investigators found asbestos cement sheets which are commonly used to construct the roof and walls of sheds, garages and similar outbuildings.
They say the material appears to be from a building of this type which is being demolished or having alteration work.
It is believed it was ditched some time on Wednesday, August 21.
Councillor Jacqui Rayment, Cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “It is disappointing to find that someone has chosen to fly-tip their rubbish in woodland used for recreation by local residents.
“The council arranged for the rubbish to be removed promptly and will take action if the person responsible for dumping this rubbish can be identified.”
Information on the fly-tippers can be reported by calling 023 8083 3008.
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