Asbestos dump site found BE THE DOOR to a primary school as seven pockets of the deadly material are discovered a few meters from children
- An asbestos dumping site was discovered a few meters away from the primary school
- About 1,600 cubic meters have been found in Richardson Park in Darwin
- Hazardous material is located 100 meters away from Ludmilla Primary School
An asbestos dumping site has been discovered just meters away from a primary school, sparking fears that young children could be exposed to the dangerous material.
About 1,600 cubic meters of asbestos-containing material has been found in Richardson Park at Ludmilla in Darwin in the Northern Territory.
The site is 100 meters away from Ludmilla Primary School, which teaches around 165 pupils.
About 1,600 cubic meters of asbestos-containing material has been found in Richardson Park at Ludmilla in Darwin in the Northern Territory
The plot is 100 meters from Ludmilla Primary School, which teaches around 165 pupils
Asbestos was first discovered in the area when the Richardson Park rugby league venue was demolished as part of a $7.1 million revitalization project in February 2021.
The Environmental Protection Agency reported that asbestos containing material-affected soil was found across 550 square meters.
A further 816 tonnes of the hazardous material was then uncovered.
The EPA required the material to be cleaned up and issued a Pollution Control Notice to the state Department of Infrastructure on August 23, 2021.
The EPA then issued another notice the following August after revealing more asbestos a few months earlier, between April and May 2022.
Seven asbestos dumping pockets and 1,600 cubic meters of the material have been uncovered in total.
Asbestos was first discovered in the area when the Richardson Park rugby league venue was demolished as part of a $7.1 million revitalization project in February 2021 (pictured, map showing Ludmilla Primary School located 100 meters away from the park)
The EPA has discovered seven dumping pockets of asbestos at Richardson Park, also known as Harvey Norman Stadium
The infrastructure department has been given until the end of October to draw up a remedial action plan.
It must state how it will identify, remove and store and asbestos-contaminated soil.
An environmental or contaminated land consultant and land auditor must also be hired for the process.
Asbestos was commonly used as insulation until the 1990s, when its notorious legacy of lung damage led to it being phased out.
Although the substance is no longer used, construction workers are often exposed when renovating old buildings and inhale the deadly dust particles.
The Australian Asbestos Network said it was the ‘needle-like’ properties of the asbestos particles that caused the disease.
“It is thought to be caused by the body’s reaction to the needle-like fibers of asbestos piercing the lining of the lung or stomach,” it said.
The infrastructure department has been given until the end of October to draw up a remedial action plan
Facts and fiction about asbestos
FICTION 1. The incidence of and deaths from asbestos-related diseases are rare. FACT: Around 4,000 people are thought to die each year from asbestos-related diseases
FICTION 2. The figures for historical deaths from asbestos-related diseases are uncertain. FACT: About 145,000 people have died over the last 35 years
FICTION 3. Asbestos-related diseases require (or usually involve) intense exposure over long periods of time. FACT: Minimal and intermittent exposure is enough.
FICTION 4. Asbestos-related diseases are solely or primarily caused by occupational exposure. FACT: This was the case, but many new cases are related to home renovations.
FICTION 5. Cases of asbestos-related disease today reflect historical settings that no longer exist. FACT: Public buildings and a third of residential properties still contain asbestos.
FICTION 6. Older asbestos products that are glued or encapsulated are safe and best left in place. FACT: Asbestos deteriorates dangerously
FICTION 7. It is safer to ‘manage’ than to remove asbestos on site. FACT: Asbestos is exposed during common occurrences such as renovations and natural disasters
FICTION 8. The majority of the general Australian population’s exposure to asbestos (including the random exposure levels used in scientific models) is caused by naturally occurring asbestos. FACT: Asbestos is not ‘natural’ once mined.
FICTION 9. Public health messages about asbestos risks should be disseminated on a limited basis so as not to alarm the public. FACT: Consciousness is dangerously low
Source: Asbestos Awareness Australia