Mount Batten beach closed indefinitely after more asbestos discovered

Mount Batten beach. Credit: ITV News West Country

A popular Plymouth beach has been closed indefinitely after yet more asbestos was discovered on the shore.

Mount Batten beach was temporarily fenced off in April after "a small amount of low grade, low-risk asbestos" was found.

But Plymouth City Council has said the site will now remain closed for the foreseeable future after a "larger amount" was discovered earlier this month.

A sign on display at the beach. Credit: ITV News West Country

Fencing has since been erected stopping people from accessing the beach, which is particularly popular among dog walkers.

The local authority has apologised for the inconvenience but stressed the safety of residents is paramount.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos can cause serious illness if inhaled. Credit: PA

Asbestos is a term for a group of minerals made of microscopic fibres. If you breathe in these fibres, they can damage your lungs.

Before its dangers were known, asbestos was often used in buildings for insulation, flooring and roofing and sprayed on ceilings and walls.

It is now banned in the UK. Buildings constructed before the year 2000 may still have asbestos in them.

If the asbestos-containing materials inside these buildings remain intact, they pose very little risk.

It’s only when these materials are damaged or disturbed that tiny asbestos fibres can be released into the air and breathed into your lungs.