Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has been used commonly in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire-retardant. While some asbestos products have been banned, asbestos is still found in building materials being produced today. To learn more visit the Asbestos Insitute 


An Inspection is a Federal regulation and prior to beginning renovation or demolition activities of a facility, a certified Asbestos inspector must thoroughly inspect the facility or part of the facility where the renovation or demolition operation will occur for the presence of asbestos, including friable and non-friable asbestos-containing materials.


A notification is a written notice of intent to renovate or demolish. Notifications must contain certain specified information, including but not limited to, the scheduled starting and completion date of the work, the location of the site, the names of operators or asbestos removal contractors, methods of removal and the amount of asbestos, and whether the operation is a demolition or renovation. 

  • A renovation/demolition notification form is required for any operations. All notifications must be postmarked or delivered at least 10 working days prior to the beginning of the activity.
  • The NESHAP regulation states either the owner of the building or the operator of the demolition/renovation operation can submit the notification.
  • For demolition, the start date is the date that the removal or related activity begins. The waiting period should be calculated based on the start date of the removal or the demolition if no removal is required. 
  • The NESHAP regulation specifies 'working days" for the 10-day notification requirement. Holidays that fall between Monday and Friday count as "working days."
  • A notification must be revised if the information contained in the original notice has changed. 
  • The age of a building does not exclude it from the notification requirements. It must be inspected regardless of age. 
  • Moving a building is regulated by the NESHAP

Why Asbestos Is a Hazard

Asbestos is made up of microscopic bundles of fibers that may become airborne when disturbed. These fibers get into the air and may become inhaled into the lungs, where they may cause significant health problems. A "safe level" of exposure has not been determined but the greater and the longer the exposure, the greater the risk of contracting an asbestos-related disease.

Asbestos is not always an immediate hazard. In fact, if asbestos can be maintained in good condition, it is recommended that it be left alone and checked periodically to monitor its condition. It is only when asbestos-containing materials (ACM) are disturbed or the materials become damaged that it becomes a hazard. When the materials become damaged, the fibers separate and may then become airborne. In the asbestos industry, the term "friable" is used to describe asbestos that can be reduced to dust by hand pressure. "Non-friable" means asbestos that is too hard to be reduced to dust by hand. Machine grinding, sanding, and dry-buffing are ways of causing non-friable materials to become friable.

Asbestos NESHAP Regulations - Summarized Pamphlet (PDF)