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Asbestos dumped in Wash Common

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Two piles of shattered roof asbestos were dumped in two separate roads yesterday morning (Wednesday)

TWO van loads of corrugated roof asbestos was dumped in two roads used by pedestrians and school pupils in Wash Common yesterday morning (Wednesday).

Residents were shocked to find the two piles of shattered roof asbestos outside their front doors and were alarmed when pupils on their way to school walked nearby as cars drove past, stirring the air and possibly releasing the dangerous pods.

One Wash Common resident, who lives near Park House School and Falkland Primary School, contacted Newburytoday.co.uk and said: “We heard a noise early this morning and we thought a house nearby was getting skips delivered, but later my husband came in and said it was asbestos dumped outside.

“We are on a school run and the kids have already been walking past it, and it is dangerous. They breathe it in and it could have long term effects on them.”

West Berkshire Council confirmed that the corrugated roof sheets did contain asbestos.

Council spokesman Keith Ulyatt said: “There were two piles of waste asbestos - it looked like roofing. One was dumped in Battery End, Wash Common and the other in Heather Gardens off Monks Lane.”

There were about 20 sheets of broken asbestos roofing in each location.

Mr Ulyatt said the incidents took place between 3am and 6am yesterday morning, but that the council arranged for the material to be removed shortly afterwards: “Specialist contractors appointed by our highways service have now cleared both lots of waste this morning, and our officers are making investigations to see if those responsible can be identified.”

The Health and Safety Executive has singled out asbestos as the single biggest cause of work related deaths and only licensed parties may work with the hazardous material.

Mr Ulyatt said that the asbestos had been removed within hours and that the council's contractors ensured there was no danger to the public.

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