Dust from demolition site in Gloucester 'not harmful'

Large amounts of dust were created by the demolition of the old Gloscat building in Gloucester
Image caption Larger fragments of polystyrene fell as well as coarse concrete dust

White dust that has been blowing around Gloucester city centre is not harmful, the city council has said.

The dust, which has been produced during demolition nearby, was reported to be falling "like snow".

A council spokesman said both coarse concrete dust and fragmented polystyrene had caused a problem but it was not dangerous.

The dust comes from the former Gloscat (Gloucestershire College of Art and Technology) building.

The complex, in Brunswick Street, is being demolished.

'Not asbestos'

One woman, Margaret Lansdale, told the BBC: "Very fine particles were falling and getting into peoples eyes - some even said it was snowing.

"When I picked up a bigger bit it was very fibrous and my immediate thought was that it was coming from an old building so it could be asbestos."

Lloyd Griffiths, city environmental protection manager, confirmed the larger fragments were polystyrene.

"[These were] used for insulation within the floor and ceiling voids in each storey of the building," he said.

"The problem we face is that polystyrene isn't water absorbent so it is very difficult to control once airborne, particularly when it's broken up through demolition.

"It is certainly not asbestos or any fibrous material that we would be concerned about."

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