Asbestos in emergencies or disasters

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) provides advice on how to classify, transport and dispose of asbestos-containing waste and works with other agencies to protect the environment. It may also take regulatory action where appropriate.

The EPA works with other agencies in planning for natural disasters and emergencies involving asbestos debris (PDF 716KB) in the community, and also assists and advises combat agencies in their response to such events.

In response to an incident involving asbestos materials, the first step is to render the hazard safe by preventing access to the area affected by damaged asbestos material and by controlling dust. Next the asbestos is removed and the site cleaned up.

In extraordinary circumstances, the NSW Government may provide funding to clean up and remove asbestos debris where it poses a risk to public health and safety.

Asbestos in fire-damaged buildings

If not properly managed, asbestos dust and fibres may pose a health risk during and after a fire. The EPA has developed Guidance Material: Asbestos and Fire-damaged Buildings (PDF 125KB) for councils and NSW Government agencies about asbestos and fire-damaged buildings. It addresses the following questions:

  • Which buildings are likely to contain asbestos?
  • What is the health risk from fire-damaged buildings containing asbestos?
  • What precautions should be taken during clean-up of a fire-damaged building containing asbestos?
  • Will neighbouring properties be affected by a fire involving asbestos?
  • Who is responsible for cleaning up fire-damaged buildings containing asbestos?
  • Where to get further advice or assistance.
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