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, homebuyers must disclose if asbestos containing building materials are present. (more)

Remove and Abate Asbestos

Although one and two family homes are generally exempted from the Asbestos Control regulations, damaged or disturbed asbestos-containing building material in these homes can present a significant health risk to occupants. Asbestos-containing materials in these homes should be maintained intact, and in good condition, and if repair or removal is desired, properly trained professionals should perform the work.The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management regulates the disposal of asbestos waste.