Asbestos hit Sydney schools but Swift concert safe

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STORY: The contamination was discovered in January in a playground in the New South Wales capital, with a subsequent probe finding asbestos in recycled mulch near the park, built above an underground road interchange.

In an update on Sunday, the state's Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) said the toxic material had been confirmed in two schools in the city's west, which raised the total number of schools confirmed as tainted to four, adding that four more schools were still being tested.

However, the agency's CEO Tony Chappel reassured the hundreds of thousands Taylor Swift fans, known as Swifties, that Sydney's Olympic Park has been given the green light for her concerts to go ahead, after results returned negative for the toxic material.

Asbestos became popular in late 19th century as a way to reinforce cement and for fire-proofing, but research later found that the inhalation of asbestos fibres could cause lung inflammation and cancer. It is now banned in much of the world.