CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has asked specialists to assess a small amount of material that could potentially contain asbestos, which has been spotted amongst rocks and shingle on a short stretch of beach near Burry Port.
The material, that looks like rubble and small sections of corrugated sheet, has been seen in a small area some way east of the harbour where coastal erosion is uncovering some remains of previous industrial use in the area.
The council is reassuring members of the public that the wet conditions of the beach means the material poses very little risk – asbestos fibres only become a risk if they are disturbed and become airborne.
However members of the public are being asked not to touch or move the material so that it can be properly assessed and dealt with.
Cllr Philip Hughes, the council’s Executive Board Member for Public Protection, said: “We have acted on reports of sightings of material that could potentially contain asbestos on a small stretch of the beach between Burry Port and Pwll. This is in an area where some remains of the power station that was demolished in the 1990s is being uncovered by coastal erosion.
“Whilst we can be reassured that the material – even if it is found to contain asbestos – poses very little risk due to the wet conditions of the area, we advise people to leave the material alone.”
Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, added: “Whilst we await the imminent advice of the specialists we will continue to monitor the beach as part of our routine inspections and will take any necessary action as and when we are advised, including localised notices.”
Asbestos is a fibre-like material that was once commonly used in buildings for insulation, flooring and roofing. It is not harmful if left alone.
Some people who have been exposed long-term to airborne asbestos fibres could develop a condition called asbestosis.
Anyone concerned about exposure to asbestos should seek advice from their GP.