Asbestos Sydney: Schools tested for asbestos in garden mulch, EPA Asbestos Taskforce

Seven more schools have been added to the list of sites to be tested for asbestos after a widespread garden mulch contamination in Sydney.

More than 70 garden beds and parks are currently being tested across the city, with at least 25 sites so far confirmed to contain the deadly material.

It comes as St John of God Hospital in North Richmond, Woolworths at Kellyville and a Transport for NSW park at Wiley Park were all confirmed on Thursday to have asbestos contamination.

The schools were identified for precautionary testing following one of the largest supply chain tracking operations undertaken by the NSW EPA’s Asbestos Taskforce though there is no evidence so far to suggest the sites are actually contaminated.

They all received mulch from the same manufacturer linked to other confirmed asbestos contamination sites.

So far, just 10 per cent of the sites tested have returned a positive result for asbestos.

Testing began on Thursday and will continue into Friday, with just one out of the seven schools making the decision to close while it gets underway.

All the schools being tested for asbestos:

  • Allambie Heights Public School in Allambie Heights
  • International Grammar School in Ultimo
  • Mt Annan Christian College in Mt Annan
  • North Sydney Public School in North Sydney
  • Penrith Christian School in Orchard Hills
  • St Luke’s Catholic College in Marsden Park – Closed today.
  • Westmead Christian Grammar in Westmead

Schools that are remaining open are advised to keep students and staff away from garden beds in and around the school sites, and to expect to see EPA officers on the ground throughout the day.

Parents with concerns about mulch in their child’s school, can contact the school directly for the most up to date information.

Businesses with concerns about recently received mulch are urged to contact the EPA Environment Line on 131 555 or at

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