On 27th May 2020 the beach at The Warren in Folkestone was closed by the Council after it was found to be contaminated by asbestos.
Specialists removed asbestos
Specialists were brought in to safely removed the offending material and tests were carried out, the Council is still awaiting the results of these.
All too often we hear of asbestos being dumped by fly-tippers who have little regard for public safety and would prefer to save money than dispose of asbestos safely. However, this was the not the case in this instance.
Former landfill is culprit
The asbestos had come from a former landfill site and had been exposed due to costal erosion. During a special Q&A session held via Zoom due to COVID-19 restrictions, a member of the public enquired about the asbestos and how it came to be on the beach. Head of the Council, Cllr David Monk, advised that “The asbestos contamination at The Warren appears to come from an old landfill site which has been exposed to costal erosion.” and that there was “no formal record” of the landfill.
Temporary safety measures put in place
Temporary measures have been put in place to ensure no further asbestos ends up on the beach, a wall of rocks has been built around the affected area and the Council is now working on a long-term solution.
For now, the affected area of beach remains closed, to ensure the public’s safety and the beach is being regularly monitored by Council officers.
The Council is taking a precautious approach to this unforeseen situation and that is exactly the right way to deal with this. They have closed the affected area, to ensure no one is exposed to the asbestos, have had the asbestos removed by specialists, and are awaiting the results of their tests before making any major decisions.
Mesothelioma risk from minimal exposure
Whilst it is not ideal for a section of beach to be closed, it is in everyone’s best interests to ensure the area is safe before reopening. Although asbestos conditions such as asbestosis or pleural thickening require heavy exposure to asbestos, the incurable asbestos cancer, mesothelioma, only needs minimal exposure to develop. Any amount of asbestos exposure could pose a risk.
If you require assistance in pursuing an asbestos compensation claim for mesothelioma or other asbestos disease then please contact us today on our freephone number 0800 038 6767. Alternatively, head over to the ‘Contact Us’ page, complete the form and we will be in touch.