Asbestos Information for Schools

The Rhode Island Asbestos Act defines schools as high-priority buildings and requires inspection of these buildings by the Department of Health. While regulations do not require asbestos removal from schools, building materials containing (or presumed to be containing) asbestos must be identified and properly maintained. The 1986 Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, which is additional, federal legislation, applies to both school districts (or Local Education Agencies) and individual schools.

What you should do

School District Administrators

  • Assign and train someone to oversee asbestos activities and ensure compliance with regulations;
  • Provide maintenance and custodial staff with two-hour asbestos awareness training;
  • Inspect your schools for asbestos-containing building materials;
  • Conduct periodic surveillance (at least every six months) in buildings with asbestos-containing materials;
  • Conduct re-inspections every three years by a certified Inspector or Management Planner;
  • Provide annual notifications regarding asbestos inspections and response actions to workers, occupants, and legal guardians;
  • Post warning labels adjacent to asbestos containing building materials located in routine maintenance areas;
  • Maintain documentation of inspections, re-inspections, surveillance, response actions, and training.

Elementary and Secondary School Administrators

  • Inspect your school for asbestos containing building materials;
  • Develop a plan to manage the asbestos in each school building; more
  • Implement timely actions (repair, encapsulation, enclosure, and removal) to deal with asbestos hazards;
  • Notify parents and staff about abatement plan availability;
  • Provide asbestos awareness training to school maintenance and custodial workers.

What we are doing

The Rhode Island Asbestos Control Program has been designated by the Environmental Protection Agency to monitor compliance in the State. The Program conducts aggressive education, outreach, and inspection efforts to ensure that Rhode Island’s schools do not pose asbestos health risks to students or workers. The Program also works to enforce asbestos regulations.