An asbestos expert says an Auckland school is "crazy" to remove 700 tonnes of contaminated soil while the children are around.
Mike Mechaelis of Hill Laboratories is currently working with government agencies to draft up guidelines in dealing with asbestos, and says there doesn't appear to be any reason the excavation has to take place during Hobsonville Primary School hours.
Another industry expert, who didn't want to be named, also questions why the removal of the contaminated 700 tonnes of soil would take a minimum of three weeks, and says it could be done within several days to a week.
Since discovering the asbestos' presence in the soil - disrupted during construction of a new drop-off zone - many parents have been left flummoxed as to why the school was rushing through with the build.
Many have asked for the soil to be taken away while the kids aren't there - during the school holidays or even at the weekend.
The parents of at least 25 children are so concerned about the removal they are refusing to allow them to go to school tomorrow.
However, school board chair Lance Norman says leaving it till the holidays isn't an option.
They're simply following the Ministry of Education's lead as it was their project, and the ones who were gathering all the appropriate information to help keep the kids safe.
Norman said today the removal is still set to take place tomorrow, however to further minimise risk it is removing pupils from the three classrooms closest to the construction zone and also closing the windows in the school hall - which is adjacent to the site.
Norman said they will also close the hall if the wind picks up and the soil will be kept damp during removal.
But Mechaelis said the parents have a right to be concerned.
"Fair enough for the parents. There is absolutely risk for the kids, for them to excavate during school hours. Absolutely there is.
"The only way we currently have to prove that it's safe is to do air monitoring while the excavating is taking place. However, we won't know until the next day that it was okay."
Mechaelis said non-friable asbestos simply became friable once it was disturbed.
"There is the risk of material becoming airborne. It's just a stupid risk to take. Why would you do it? There's friable and non-friable but there's only a matter of time before non-friable becomes friable . . . it's crazy to dig it up to begin with."
He said the safest thing would be to build the carpark on top of the soil.
Non-friable asbestos can still became airborne - or non-friable - when it is damaged, or broken, he said.
Mechaelis, who is meeting with MBIE, Worksafe and Ministry for Environment staff on Tuesday to discuss new proposed guidelines, said he expected the company involved had slick decontamination procedures to ensure zero cross-contamination or spill.