1. The contractor is a licensed contractor in California.
2. The contractor is a certified building inspector under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act.
3. The project takes place in a residential dwelling.
The 100 SF threshold addressed in the Business and Professions Code applies only to whether a
contractor is required to have Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) asbestos
registration. It does not supersede the requirements of the Cal/OSHA Asbestos in Construction
Standard which applies when removal or disturbance of any amount of asbestos containing material
takes place during construction related activities (see below).
The list below details asbestos bans by the United States in construction materials. Usage of many of
the banned materials continued for a number of years after the bans due to stockpiles accumulated before
the bans and illegal imports. It's important to realize that the banned materials listed represent only a
fraction of all the construction materials where asbestos can be found.
This page discusses the major asbestos regulations that impact residential and commercial renovation
projects. The information provided can be summarized in these four bullets:
- Unless you're an asbestos abatement contractor, you cannot remove or disturb any quantity of
asbestos containing material (ACM).
- There is no cut-off date where asbestos can no longer be found in building materials. However, with
a few exceptions, the likelihood of finding asbestos in building materials decreases significantly
after 1981 due to government bans and voluntary phase-outs by manufacturers.
- In non-residential renovation/demolition, an inspection for asbestos is required prior to disturbance
regardless of construction date.
- A licensed contractor may collect up to 12 samples for asbestos analysis but the contractor must
have an AHERA building inspector certification and the project must be residential.
1973 - banned by EPA in spray-applied surfacing material for fireproofing/insulating purposes.
1975 - banned by EPA in thermal system insulation.
1977 - banned by CPSC in consumer wall patching compounds.
1978 - banned by EPA in spray-applied surfacing material for "decorative" purposes.
1993 - banned by EPA in flooring felt (including sheet vinyl backing).
Suspect Asbestos Containing Material
Classifying a material as suspect ACM is fairly simple for pre-1981 construction. In a nutshell, if it's not
constructed of wood, glass, or metal then it is suspect (click here for a list of suspect ACM).
California Business and Professions Code Section 7180(b)
A contractor may take up to 12 bulk samples of suspect asbestos-containing material that is required to be
removed, repaired, or disturbed as part of a construction project if all three of these requirements are met:
If the material is pre-1981 thermal systems insulation or surfacing material, the sample collection has to
be done in accordance with AHERA 40 CFR 763.86 in order to rebut the designation of that material as
presumed asbestos containing material.
Confusion Over the 100 SF Provisions of the Business and Professions Code
If a contractor reads section 7058.5 of the Business and Professions Code, section 6501.5 of the Labor
Code, and neglects to read the Cal/OSHA Asbestos in Construction Standard (CCR Title 8 Section 1529),
he may be led to believe it's acceptable for him to remove up to 100 SF of asbestos containing material as
part of a construction project without the need of any specialized training, work practices, and certification.
This conclusion (which happens frequently) is completely inaccurate.
Cal/OSHA Asbestos in Construction Standard, CCR Title 8 Section 1529
NESHAP stands for National Emissions Standard for Hazardous Air
Pollutants. This regulation applies to all structures except residential
structures that have 4 or less dwelling units. It requires an asbestos
inspection prior to renovation or demolition regardless of construction
date. It also includes notification and work practice requirements.
This regulation applies when asbestos containing material is removed or disturbed in any quantity
during construction related activities (except when a home-owner is doing work inside his own home). It
addresses work practices, certification, and training requirements for workers engaged in these
activities. Among many other requirements, workers must have AHERA certification as an asbestos
abatement worker. Additionally, a supervisor must be on site during the entire period asbestos is
disturbed or removed and he must have AHERA certification as an asbestos abatement supervisor.
In post-1981 construction due diligence must be used in categorizing
a material as suspect. Unfortunately, there is no clear consensus on
the extent of materials that should be included. Asbestos has been
found in NAFTA and Chinese imported materials and the US has
banned asbestos only in a handful of materials. Such uncertainties
has created varying opinions on what to consider suspect after 1981.
Roof penetration/seam mastic - all construction dates.
Drywall joint compound (or skim coat) - through 1990.
Window glazing - through 1990.
Popcorn ceiling - through 1985.
Sheet vinyl flooring - through 1997.
Using the most current information available, we believe it's
reasonable to categorize the following materials as suspect:
EPA NESHAP Regulations 40 CFR 61 Subpart M
- Lead paint testing (inspections)
- Asbestos testing (inspections)
- Asbestos air clearance testing
- HUD lead inspections and
- Consulting services for property
managers and abatement
- Mold investigations and
- Free phone consultations on all
lead, asbestos, and mold matters
Lead-Asbestos-Mold Experts in San Diego
Asbestos-Related Renovation Regulations
Certifications | Insurance
Professional Liability Insurance:
$2,000,000 aggregate policy
California DOSH Certified Asbestos
California DPH Certified Lead Inspector/
Assessor/Project Monitor #17780
Call or email for pricing or with