Worrying rise in illegally dumped asbestos, ITV News reports

Cancer-causing asbestos dumped near Heathrow (Pic: ITV News)

Freedom of information requests by ITV News show 3,222 asbestos fly-tipping incidents this year. That’s a rise of around 14% in three years.

Often, it is being dumped on an industrial scale by criminal gangs. Most councils say their target is to remove the site over five days.

Although some councils achieve this, ITV found removal can take up to three months in some instances. Their  findings reveal the worrying and growing problem of hazardous waste being disposed of in communities across Britain.

The annual cost of dealing with illegally dumped asbestos has now reached over £1 million. The Health and Safety Executive has published extensive guidance on the safe removal of asbestos but the ITV report shows that the illegal dumping of the substance is growing, posing a threat to human health.

ITV News asked a toxic waste expert to take samples from an illegal mega-dump at Colnbrook near Heathrow.

He identified five different examples of asbestos on just one site: a corrugated roof sheet; an asbestos insulating board; an asbestos cement sheet; asbestos fireplace; and an asbestos fire surround.

You can read the full ITV report and watch their video report here.