It’s a place like a picture. Golden sand in front of clear blue water with a view of Croatia’s “Little Venice”, Vranjic. The Košic peninsula on the Adriatic coast is just a few kilometers from Split and is considered an idyll. As soon as the temperatures permit, holidaymakers flock to this stretch of beach. What they don’t know: The impression is deceptive. Because danger lurks beneath the chic sandy beach. It was built on a former asbestos landfill. According to Croatian media, swimming there could pose a health risk. But no one in charge seems to care enough to do anything about it. Instead, holidaymakers are even explicitly invited to go swimming on the peninsula.

It has been known in the country for years that the coastal section in Košic should only be used with caution – if at all. Since 2010, locals in the community have been waiting for promises to find a solution to the asbestos problem to be followed through. The news portal “” reported. The beach was also listed as heavily polluted between 2017 and 2022 in the waste management plan. Accordingly, the coastal part is one of eight “black spots” in the country. This means that technological waste was not disposed of properly and is now polluting the environment. However, nothing happened. On the contrary. In 2023 the beach was filled with new sand, but this only made it more attractive for guests.

So far, however, nothing has been done to combat the danger from the ground. Planned renovation measures are pending. Asbestos is proven to be harmful to health and, according to the Federal Environment Agency, “clearly carcinogenic.” In Germany, “the manufacture, marketing and use of asbestos and asbestos-containing products” has been prohibited since autumn 1993. Asbestos can break down into small pieces that are easily inhaled and can lodge in the lungs over the long term. The Federal Environment Agency states that a particularly high release of fibers can occur if components containing asbestos are processed, for example sawn, chipped or sanded, or are not dismantled and disposed of properly. The latter applies to the landfill in Košic.

But the beach is still popular with visitors. Although Google Maps warns about the danger of asbestos, the beach section is top rated. If a citizens’ initiative has its way, the city beach should be completely closed to visitors. They demand fences and signs instead of “inviting people to swim on the ‘city beach’ and thereby literally poisoning them.”