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Asbestos Investigation Updates – 23 February 2024

NSW Environment Protection Authority 2 mins read
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) investigation into asbestos contaminated mulch has returned positive results for five sites in the past day, and six negative results for other sites as of yesterday.

The total number of positive sites is 59.

Of the five new sites, one has returned a positive result for friable asbestos:

  • Wood Street Lands, Forest Lodge (affected area fenced off)

Four sites returned positive results for bonded asbestos:

  • Harold Park, Forest Lodge (affected area fenced off)
  • Wentworth Park, Glebe (affected area fenced off)
  • A construction site in Glenmore Park (inaccessible to the public and fenced off)
  • Cranebrook High School, Cranebrook (school open, area isolated and fenced off)

Further testing at the previously announced Aldi Supermarket, Cobbitty has also returned a result for friable asbestos.

The positive test results at Cranebrook High School and Mont St Quentin Oval, Bardia are believed to be in mulch from a second supplier. We will provide a further update once we have confirmed details and assessed the risk associated with this supplier.

The EPA is still following up many lines of enquiry including the mulch supply chain and the potential presence of legacy asbestos at some sites.

Testing at sites listed here has been done by the EPA, local councils and property owners.

Land managers are responsible for managing the clean-up and disposal of mulch, with guidance from the EPA and other agencies. The EPA is providing additional support for residential households and not-for-profit property owners.

Precautionary testing at six health facilities, as of yesterday, has returned negative results for asbestos:

  • Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital
  • Manly Adolescent and Young Adult Hospice, Manly
  • Tresillian Family Care Centre, Wollstonecraft
  • Tumut Hospital and Tumut Ambulance Station
  • Westmead Hospital Mother and Baby Unit
  • Woy Woy Ambulance Station

Cordons around the landscaped areas will be progressively removed. There are a small number of sites for which results have not yet been received.

For the latest information or to report concerns about mulch you have received please visit our website.

Different forms of asbestos have different risk levels: 

 

Bonded (non-friable) asbestos: if asbestos is mixed with cement or other hard bonding materials, and in good condition, it is likely to be low risk.  

 

Friable asbestos: can be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to a powder by hand pressure. If asbestos fibres then become airborne and breathed in, they can be a health risk. This is the most common way asbestos enters the body. The more fibres that are breathed in, the higher the risk. 

 

Asbestos investigation schools list:

Bonded asbestos detected in mulch

  • Allambie Heights Public School, Allambie Heights (school open, small, isolated garden fenced off. Remediation works scheduled for this weekend)
  • Cranebrook High School, Cranebrook (school open, area isolated and fenced off))
  • Domremy College, Five Dock (school open, isolated site, fenced off and remediation this weekend)
  • Liverpool West Public School, Liverpool (school open at different site)
  • Penrith Christian School, Orchard Hills (school open, site fenced off)
  • St Luke’s Catholic College, Marsden Park (the school has made the decision to close for the week)

No bonded or friable asbestos detected in mulch

  • International Grammar School, Ultimo
  • North Sydney Public School, Waverton
  • St Michael’s Catholic Primary School, Daceyville
  • St Justin’s Catholic Parish Primary School, Oran Park
  • St Benedict’s Catholic College, Oran Park
  • Westmead Christian Grammar School, Westmead
  • Edmondson Park Public School, Edmondson Park
  • Mount Annan Christian College, Currans Hill
  • Trinity Catholic Primary School, Kemps Creek

ENDS

 


Contact details:

media@epa.nsw.gov.au

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