Even More Contaminated Mulch Found In Melbourne Playgrounds So Watch Out On These Swing Sets

In the latest update to Australia’s current game of “where’s the asbestos this time?”, even more sites in Melbourne have been confirmed to have found material contaminated with the dangerous material.

First, it struck Sydney, then Queensland got a little bit into it, and now the asbestos-contaminated mulch craze has officially reached Melbourne, with the dangerous substance being found at three more children’s playgrounds.

The first instance of asbestos mulch being found in Melbourne occurred just a few days ago, when two pieces of “compound material” were discovered at Donald McLean Reserve in Spotswood.

Asbestos material has now also been discovered at playgrounds in Coburg North and Altona North, bringing the total number of impacted parks in Melbourne to four.

The new parks include:

  • Hosken Reserve in Coburg North.
  • Crofts Reserve in Atlanta North.
  • PJ Lynch Reserve in Altona North.

All three parks have been shut down by the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA), and will not be accessible to the public until the material has been removed and the park is confirmed as safe.

Admittedly, the now four parks that have been confirmed to have asbestos is hardly as bad as the 100 or so locations that Sydney found the hazardous material at, which led NSW’s EPA to begin a criminal investigation into the matter.

And while NSW currently looks into “allegations of foul play or criminal conduct” that caused so many sites to find asbestos-contaminated material, in Victoria the state government is being pressured into starting a similar taskforce.

“The Allan government needs to put in place a task force to make sure that no other playgrounds, no other parks, no other community facilities in Victoria are at risk of illegally dumped asbestos,” said Victorian Liberal member Jess Wilson.

“We want to make sure that when children are going to playgrounds in Victoria, it’s safe for them to do so.”

Until the potential asbestos taskforce is developed, the EPA encourages anyone who sees any suspicious-looking material they believe could be asbestos to contact their local council, and absolutely do not touch it.

Asbestos breaks into small fibres that can be breathed in and are extremely carcinogenic. As well as causing cancer, it can also cause a chronic lung disease known as asbestosis. Its usage was banned in construction in 2009.

[Image: Getty]