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A NSW Government website

Naturally occurring asbestos

Asbestos is found as a naturally occurring mineral in many areas of NSW and may occur in veins within rock formations.

The NSW government's Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities (HACA) has published information on naturally occurring asbestos (NOA) and supporting documents on what you can do to avoid contact with NOA.

Risks of contact with naturally occurring asbestos

If covered and left undisturbed, NOA is not considered dangerous. However, if disturbed and microscopic fibres become airborne or settle on clothing or equipment and can be inhaled, NOA can cause incurable diseases including malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.

Asbestos management plan

An asbestos management plan should be prepared by the person with management or control of the workplace.

You do not need a licence to work with naturally occurring asbestos, however all workers must be trained in the hazards and risks associated with working where naturally occurring asbestos is found. The training must include safe work practices and use of personal protective equipment.

Naturally occurring asbestos map of NSW

HACA has also published digital GIS data on naturally occurring asbestos. Depending on the probability of naturally occurring asbestos being present, NSW has been mapped into low, medium, or high potential regions

Further information

Safework NSW — Naturally occurring asbestos

Safework NSW — Naturally occurring asbestos fact sheet