Australia: 22 cases of Asbestos confirmed in Sydney

Asbestos is a collection of naturally occurring fibrous minerals that are heat and corrosion resistant.
Australia: 22 cases of Asbestos confirmed in Sydney

A month ago in Sydney, Australia, a toddler accidentally brought a chunk of bonded asbestos home from mulch at a newly opened park in Sydney a month ago.

The Australian state's Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has recently found that at least 22 sites had mulch containing the potentially cancer-causing substance.

The term "asbestos" refers to a collection of naturally occurring fibrous minerals that are heat and corrosion resistant. Based on these features, asbestos has been used in a variety of commercial items, including insulation and fireproofing, automotive brakes, and wallboard materials.

Asbestos exposure is responsible for the majority of mesotheliomas (a rare cancer of the thin membranes that line the chest and abdomen), as well as cancers of the lungs, throat, and ovaries.

The EPA has tested over 100 sites in Sydney, and the watchdog has increased the number of investigators from 40 to 120. Multiple parks, infrastructure building sites, rail corridors, a school, and a hospital have all been affected.

With the potentially lethal friable variant of asbestos discovered for the first time over the weekend, scientists are concerned about the harm to the community and the environment.

On Thursday 15 February, seven schools across Sydney were identified as potential contamination sites following supply line tracing of garden mulch containing Asbestos.

Along with the International Grammar School here in the inner city, two public primary schools in Sydney's north and four private schools in the city's west will be tested. Sydney already had one primary school test positive for asbestos.

Students of Liverpool West Public School have been learning from home as the contaminated mulch is removed from school grounds.

Since this contamination crisis began, most places that have been tested for Asbestos, and identified as areas of concern have come back negative.

On Thursday, the state government announced it would be launching a new task force specifically focused on tackling the asbestos crisis.

Over the coming days and weeks, it is expected that the task force will contact companies to eradicate the contaminated mulch, and find out its origin.

Around 130 people are currently on the case, and the EPA claims this is the largest investigation in the organisation's history.

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Australia: 22 cases of Asbestos confirmed in Sydney


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