Updated specialist advice on health following the Grenfell Tower fire has been issued by Public Health England (PHE).
It includes health advice on air quality, smoke exposure, asbestos, and the clean-up process.
A four-page PHE Grenfell Fire Response News pamphlet was also available to pick up from shops and businesses in the Notting Hill area close to the burnt out block of flats.
Giving advice, health protection director for PHE in London Dr Deborah Turbitt, addressed:
- Air quality: “We have been assessing air quality over the past week in relation to the Grenfell Tower fire and this shows no detectable deterioration in air quality. Our advice is that the wider risk to people’s physical health as a result of the fire, beyond those directly affected, is low.”
- Smoke: “People who were close to the scene and exposed to smoke from the fire may have experienced irritation to their air passages, skin and eyes, and respiratory symptoms including coughing and wheezing, breathlessness, phlegm production and chest pain. People who have ongoing concerns about their symptoms should call NHS 111 for medical advice.”
- Asbestos: “It is possible that very small amounts of asbestos fibres will have been dispersed within the smoke plume but would have formed only a small fraction of the smoke and particles released in the fire; all smoke is toxic and any asbestos would present a minimal additional risk to health. Asbestos related diseases are typically associated with a long term workplace exposure to high levels of airborne asbestos fibres.”
PHE advise drinking water quality has not been impacted by the fire and tap water is safe to use as normal.
Hot water is expected to be returned to surrounding roads on Wednesday (July 5), allowing residents to return home.
It also says people with gardens in the local area should continue to use their fruit and vegetables as normal ensuring that they are washed and peeled before cooking or eating.
The PHE pamphlet mentions the appointment of Sir Martin Moore-Bick as head of the Grenfell Tower public inquiry , important contacts such as bereavement and mental health support, as well as FAQs.
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