Asbestos Information for Homeowners

Many homes built before 1970 contain, or contained, asbestos. Asbestos may be present in steam pipe and boiler insulation, vermiculite attic insulation, resilient floor tiles and coverings, exterior siding, roofing shingles, textured paints, caulking compounds, mastics and adhesives, fireproof wallboard, sound proofing, gypsum board and wall and ceiling plasters. more

If these materials are in good condition and are not disturbed they do not present an immediate health risk to you or your family. You are at risk of exposure if, however, your home contains worn, peeling, cracking, crumbling or otherwise deteriorated asbestos or if you disturb asbestos. "Friable" building material, or material that can be crumbled, pulverized or reduced to powder by hand when dry, poses greater exposure risks than "non-friable" material.

What you should do

Test

The only way of determining if building material contains asbestos is by sample analysis. The Asbestos Control Program certifies both consultant inspectors and analytical labs that can collect and analyze samples for asbestos content.

Disclosure During Real Estate Transactions

While the Rhode Island Asbestos Act does not prohibit the sale of a property that contains asbestos, home buyers must disclose if asbestos containing building materials are present.

Remove and Abate Asbestos

The term “asbestos” is used to describe a group of six different fibrous minerals (amosite, chrysotile, crocidolite, tremolite, actinolite, and anthophyllite) that occur naturally. Disturbing asbestos can release tiny fibers of it into the air. Asbestos is a hazardous class of minerals that can cause cancer and are always considered hazardous waste. While one and two-family homes are generally exempted from Asbestos Control Regulations (216-RICR-50-15-1), asbestos-containing materials in all homes should be maintained intact and in good condition.  This prevents exposure to the fibers. Asbestos may be present in the following: steam pipe and boiler insulation, vermiculite attic insulation, resilient floor tiles and coverings, exterior siding, roofing shingles, textured paints, caulking compounds, mastics and adhesives, fireproof wallboard, sound proofing, gypsum board, wall and ceiling plasters. If you need to repair something that contains asbestos or you want it removed entirely, properly trained and licensed asbestos abatement professionals should perform the work.

Eco Depot will accept a maximum of four triple-bagged, contractor-size bags of dampened asbestos at their collection events for hazardous waste. You can make the necessary appointment by calling 401-942-1430 ext. 241 or online at RIRRC Eco-Depot.