Living opposite a petrol station

(24 Posts)
user1479803053 Tue 22-Nov-16 08:30:47

Hi! We're thinking of buying a house opposite a petrol station (it's set back from the road behind trees). We are not concerned about the noise, however, I have found a few articles online about benzene levels in the atmosphere near petrol stations and how this can cause cancer, especially in children. My husband says the articles are scaremongering and we can't find any scientific studies that have been carried out. Also, if it were true, wouldn't we hear more about it in the media? Any feedback gratefully received. Thanks!

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Fantasticmissfoxy Tue 22-Nov-16 08:37:19

I've never heard of the benzine thing so would be interested to hear if anyone else knows a bit about it - probably trivial concern in comparison but I used to live a couple of doors down from a petrol station and it was the handiest thing ever! Milk, bread and even last minute birthday cards and flowers nearly 24 hours a day! I miss that house.

user1479803053 Tue 22-Nov-16 08:38:48

Exactly my way of thinking! Very convenient smile

Grateful to hear anyone's thoughts on the benzene issue if they are aware of anything though.

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Seeline Tue 22-Nov-16 08:45:41

Not aware of the issue, but I couldn't cope with the constant smell of petrol. It makes me feel sick. I suppose that shows that there is something in the air.

user1479803053 Tue 22-Nov-16 09:09:39

Weirdly you can't smell anything so I'm not sure if that's because it's a sufficient distance away. I'm not very good with judging distance but I guess it would be about 100 yards.

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specialsubject Tue 22-Nov-16 09:21:03

Do you drive a car? Do your children ever walk along roads with passing traffic?

Question answered.

user1479803053 Tue 22-Nov-16 09:26:21

That's exactly what my husband said but these articles were saying that the petrol/diesel is processed through a car, whereas they go into the pumps and then from the pumps to the cars in pure form and that's where the benzene comes from.
The more I talk about this, the more I can see what I'm saying sounds silly though! Because you're completely right, we're exposed to so many things on a daily basis that are probably bad for our health.

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nemno Tue 22-Nov-16 09:49:41

If the prevailing wind blows away from the property towards the petrol station then I probably wouldn't give it another thought but if the other way I would be uneasy too.

klassy Tue 22-Nov-16 10:05:07

You sound like me! I worry about that sort of stuff too. Having said that, it probably is scaremongering. I think if it were demonstrably true, there'd be big issues by now - it would be a health and safety nightmare, with lawsuits aplenty and houses legally required to be x metres away, petrol station employees required to wear masks at all times etc.

Doesn't mean it isn't necessarily a risk of course but I'd be surprised.

user1479803053 Tue 22-Nov-16 10:07:26

Glad to know I'm not the only worrier!

Yes, good point, I guess petrol station workers and tanker guys would be required to wear masks. In this day and age, with all the talk of mobile phone masts etc. you would have thought it would have come to light by now if it was an issue.

Thanks smile

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YelloDraw Tue 22-Nov-16 10:21:01

I have found a few articles online about benzene levels in the atmosphere near petrol stations and how this can cause cancer, especially in children.

I was just having this conversation yesterday with the property guy at work. He said he would never live next to an active petrol station or on an old one due ot the VOCs

TheBlessedCheesemaker Tue 22-Nov-16 10:27:16

This rang a bell with me because I was sure I recalled from my Employment Law days (long time ago now) that pregnant women were not allowed to work in station forecourts because of a small risk inherent in the fumes. When I googled I did find this article (apologies - it's a daily mail one) which could be scaremongering of course, but certainly tallies with my recollection that some of the fumes can be harmful in PG.
My concern would not be the pollutants themselves (plenty of people live near dry cleaners, hairdressers and main roads, all of which also have risks), but I would be concerned that I may have problems selling the house at some point in the future because of these perceived risks

AlbusPercival Tue 22-Nov-16 10:52:39

I'm a chemist. I'm currently snuggled on the sofa with newborn DS 50 yards from the forecourt

user1479803053 Tue 22-Nov-16 10:55:28

Thanks that's helpful. And you're right, it could affect re-sale.

I'd already seen the Daily Mail article, in fact that was how this all started! hmm

I've found this recent official article which seems to suggest there will be further consultation by May 2016 so I've emailed them to try and find out more -

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user1479803053 Tue 22-Nov-16 10:56:22

Ooh thank you for replying "chemist"!! That has really reassured me THANK YOU smile

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klassy Tue 22-Nov-16 11:07:46

Well, there are a lot of things that aren't recommended in pregnancy just in case, so it might be them being overcautious (they're hardly going to run a clinical trial letting pregnant women sniff petrol to test the theory!)

But I completely agree on the re-sale issue. How long has it been for sale? Is the price lower than you'd expect?

clumsyduck Tue 22-Nov-16 11:10:11

I live next door but one to a petrol station albeit quite open space so it's not like right next to it iyswim
I never heard of that ?! sad

user1479803053 Tue 22-Nov-16 11:15:00

Oh don't let my (probably) unjustified concerns worry you! I'll let you know if the .Gov website Environmental Health team reply.

It's been up for sale since August so not THAT long in the current market. However, yes, I doubt we could afford a house like this if it wasn't opposite a petrol station so I think the price is lower to account for the location. Something we need to be prepared for in the future if we do buy it.

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specialsubject Tue 22-Nov-16 13:35:31

I would point you at sense about science, but they have relaunched their website so as usual it is pig slow, full of silly pictures and nothing works now. Hopefully they will fix it at some point and you can search the real evidence, not journo babble!

user1479803053 Tue 22-Nov-16 13:55:10

Thanks for the tip! I'll definitely have a look.

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flissfloss65 Tue 22-Nov-16 14:04:57

I just looked this up on line and there are several articles, one in the New Scientist, saying about childhood leukemia risks. May be worth investigating further for peace of mind.

Scribblegirl Tue 22-Nov-16 14:10:05

I wouldn't be concerned by the science angle but think about whether you're going to have light shining into your house constantly - a friend of mine lived opposite a petrol station forecourt which had bright lights on all the time and even with blackout curtains light still crept in.

clumsyduck Tue 22-Nov-16 18:54:53

Haha ok yeh update when they respond . I literally never even considered this other than a brief thought of what would happen if the place blew up !!

user1479803053 Wed 23-Nov-16 11:43:05

By way of update, I've just received a helpful and reassuring reply from Defra. To paraphrase:

New European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) standards must be used to certify and test new equipment for recovering petrol vapour during refuelling of motor vehicles at service stations and were made on 4th February, laid before Parliament on 10th February and came into force on 13th May.

Amending legislation and Explanatory Memorandum can be found here:

The impact of this legislation is quite minor in that it merely specifies testing standards. The requirement to install petrol vapour recovery equipment in petrol stations was already in place.

The Government is committed to improving air quality generally and there are a range of measures in place and under consideration.

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