Warnings signs had been placed on Surrey Wildlife Common after material containing asbestos which can lead to cancer was dumped there.
Material containing asbestos has been dumped near to a Guildford pond on Surrey Wildlife Common. The bags were left around one metre away from the pond at the Surrey Wildlife Trust common, and yellow tape warning of asbestos had been put around them, before it was removed.
Exposure to asbestos can lead to cancer and scarring of the lungs. It is safe if undamaged or undisturbed, but needs to be disposed of correctly.
A spokesman for the borough council said they were looking for any information relating to suspicious vehicle movements seen in the area.
“We are aware of the issue and it has been passed onto our specialist contractors to deal with,” the spokesman said.
“In this case it was reported to us on Tuesday July 29 so probably appeared either on Sunday night or some time on Monday.
“There is very little indication as to where this came from and who left it there.”
Surrey Wildlife Trust said it was also aware of the asbestos, and warned of the dangers of fly-tipping in general.
“Asbestos fibres are so small that they cannot be seen by the naked eye or even by normal household microscopes, but when asbestos is dumped and released into the environment it contaminates the air, where it can be inhaled, water, where it can be ingested, and soil,” a spokesman for the trust said.
“Asbestos dust can easily travel for long distances in the air before it settles into water or on top of soil, thus contaminating areas far away from its source.
“The small asbestos fibres remain intact in air, water and soil. It does not break down or biodegrade.
“The fibres do not absorb into the soil and instead sit on top of the soil, where it can easily be disturbed and redistributed into the air, which will have an impact on native flora.
“It can also settle on the surface of the soil instead of getting absorbed into the ground, which means that it can still get picked up by the wind and inhaled into human lungs, which pose the biggest risks.
“Fly-tipping can be harmful to wildlife and the environment, as animals can get stuck inside discarded waste, and chemicals in items such as paint, battery acid and pesticide and leach into the ground and waterways.
“It can crush wild flowers and may introduce non-native species that may take over the natural environment,” the spokesman said.
“Even the most innocent dumping of a few grass clippings encourages others to do the same.
“This can result in household refuse also being dumped.”
Up until February this year, there had been more than 5,600 incidents of fly-tipping reported in Guildford in the previous five years.
Asbestos must always be removed safely by a licensed company to prevent exposure to dangerous fibres.
If you or a family member have been affected by asbestos contact us today on Freephone 0800 294 3065, or speak to us on live chat where we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.