Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Asbestos exposure alert to Hampshire building site burglars

Burglars who broke into a decontamination caravan in Eastleigh are being urged by police to seek medical help after they were exposed to potentially lethal asbestos.

Police said the thieves forced the doors of the locked caravan and opened sealed bags.

The bags contained blue, brown and white asbestos-contaminated clothing.

Labourers working on the demolition of the former Pirelli site in the town had worn the clothing.

The break-in caused about £5,000 damage to the caravan.

'Costly and pointless'

PC Ella Knight branded the crime, which happened overnight on Tuesday, "costly and pointless" and urged people not to enter the site.

Appealing to the burglars, she said: "Our prime concern is your safety and that of your families.

"If you entered this unit, you are likely to have been contaminated by asbestos and should seek medical attention, if you touched or stole any items within this unit."

Asbestos comes in six forms and is a known cause of the rare cancer mesothelioma.

The blue and brown varieties are considered the most dangerous.

It is banned in more than 50 countries and its removal is a specialised task.

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