Asbestos contamination in recycled mulch affects Australian communities

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Asbestos contamination in recycled mulch affects Australian communities


Asbestos contamination in recycled mulch affects Australian communities

Recent discoveries of asbestos in recycled mulch used in various urban areas have raised serious health concerns.

In short:

  • Asbestos has contaminated mulch at 72 locations across Sydney and Melbourne, sourced from construction waste.
  • The issue highlights failures in national and state recycling policies and certification procedures.
  • Researchers advocate for mandatory certification of recycled products to prevent future health risks and ensure material safety.

Why this matters:

The presence of asbestos in recycled mulch typically stems from the inclusion of contaminated materials, like old construction debris, in the mulch-making process. As mulch breaks down or is disturbed, asbestos fibers can become airborne and pose a risk to anyone inhaling these fibers. This concern is heightened in public spaces and residential areas where mulch is commonly used for landscaping and gardening, potentially leading to widespread exposure.



By EHN Curators

Articles curated and summarized by the Environmental Health News’ curation team. Some AI-based tools helped produce this text, with human oversight, fact checking and editing.

(Source: ehn.org; April 19, 2024; https://tinyurl.com/yx27rmwt)