Illegal landfill tip may pose public liability issue

Human health may be in danger by waste material buried at an illegal landfill tip.  Investigations are poised to commence to determine the extent of the public liability danger posed by possibly hazardous materials.

Public liability insurance experts will be spending approximately three months examining the material.  The site of the burial is located within a field inside the New Forest National Park.  Investigators are being told that the material in question may contain the toxic carcinogen asbestos.

Three months ago, Copythorne native Kenneth Lovett was fined £3,000 for ignoring an order to conduct removal procedures for the waste that was dumped in close proximity to his home.  While a portion of the material has already been removed the remainder of the waste will now be subjected to a £21,000 probe to determine if human health may be affected.

Asbestos exposure has been linked to several medical conditions.  The most common one is mesothelioma, an aggressive form of lung cancer thought to be formed from microscopic asbestos dust fibres becoming lodged in human tissue.

The fibres can cause inflammation or infection, and patients diagnosed with mesothelioma typically have only a life expectancy of one additional year before succumbing to the disease. The most common form of the illness is pleural mesothelioma, which primarily affects the lining of the lungs of its victims. 75 per cent of malignant mesotheliomas are pleural in origin.  Symptoms include shortness of breath,persistent cough, chest pain, lumps under the skin on the chest, and fatigue.

According to data gathered by the Health and Safety Executive, the number of  mesothelioma-related deaths in 2008 was 2,249.  An additional 4,000 deaths are caused from asbestos-related cancers annually, the HSE added.

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