The Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia has called for the removal of soil beneath the playing fields of a Catholic high school at Westmead due to suspicion that it is contaminated with asbestos fibre.
The foundation's president, Barry Robson, made the call on Wednesday after learning that the soil came from a construction site in Catherine McAuley High School where bonded asbestos were recovered last month.
Workers dug up some 8,000 cubic metres of soil from the construction site of a three-storey building to remove pieces of bonded asbestos there. The soil was then spread on lower ovals of the school and will be covered with topsoil.
The Civil Contractors Federation of NSW warned that asbestos fibre, which cannot be seen by the naked eye, may still be in the soil.
I am concerned undetected asbestos will float to the surface of the soil in future years,'' federation president David Elliott.
Parents were never told about the diggings and findings of asbestos from the site.
Greg Whitby, the executive director of schools for the Parramatta Catholic Education Office, said the diocese followed all safety rules and regulations in removing the asbestos. Whitby said the excavation site was also isolated and quarantined while the air was monitored for 22 days for signs of asbestos fibre.
'The Catholic Education Office, our head contractors and contract administrator have received no communication or complaints about this process, Whitby added, according to Sydney Morning Herald.