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NATA's Occupational Technical Group has noted that previously, if NATA laboratories were not accredited for synthetic mineral fibres (SMF) and organic fibres, and they received an asbestos-free sample with SMF (or organic fibres), the only report that they could issue within the constraints of AS 4964 reporting criteria was "unknown mineral fibres".
NATA is now making it mandatory for all identifiers to become proficient in the identification of SMF and Organic fibres and laboratories to become accredited for these determinations.

What does this mean for Environmental Scientists requesting asbestos analysis? All samples received for Asbestos analysis will be reported with the inclusion of SMF and Organic Fibre results if positively identified. SGS is currently taking the necessary action to achieve this accreditation.

In relation to asbestos identification, SGS would also like to inform clients who may not be aware of the fact that samples for asbestos must weigh no more than 100g. Due to the nature of the sample matrix and analysis laboratory sub-sampling is not appropriate and SGS requires that separate samples be supplied for asbestos in a plastic zip lock bag each containing no more than 100g of material. For further details please refer to AS 4964. Alternatively please contact your local SGS office if you wish to discuss this issue with our National Quality Manager.

SGS Australia PTY. LTD.
Unit 16, 33 Maddox Street
NSW 2015 NSW Alexandria


The SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Founded in 1878, SGS is recognized as the global benchmark in quality and integrity. With more than 53,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,000 offices and laboratories around the world.