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Asbestos Abatement

Asbestos Fibers Under a Microscope

The District’s Asbestos Abatement Program ensures that asbestos removal contractors protect their own health and safety, and the health and safety of building occupants and the general public.

Asbestos Fact:

Asbestos is a material found in building material that can be harmful to the health and safety of asbestos workers, building occupants and the general public.

Answers to Common Questions:

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring silicate minerals that separate into thin but strong fibers. Asbestos is a non-combustible, excellent insulator with a very high tensile strength. It is durable, flexible and resistant to wear. Six asbestos minerals were commonly used commercially - chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, anthophylite, tremolite and actinolite.

How does asbestos harm people?

Undamaged, asbestos may cause no threat. It is when asbestos-containing material is disturbed that tiny asbestos fibers are released. These fibers enter the body through inhalation or ingestion. What are the health effects of asbestos? Asbestos exposure is attributed to the development of lung cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma and gastrointestinal cancer.

What do I do if I suspect that there is asbestos in my home or place of business?

Do NOT disturb it. If the material is relatively intact, it may pose no serious threat.

The Asbestos Abatement Program ensures that asbestos removal contractors protect their own health and safety, and the health and safety of building occupants and the general public. The District is responsible for the following:

  • Issuing asbestos abatement permits to licensed contractors and collecting permit fees for regulated asbestos-containing material (RACMs).
  • Inspecting and monitoring asbestos abatement projects and reviewing asbestos abatement reports.
  • Investigating asbestos complaints.
  • Prosecuting violators who fail to comply with asbestos laws and regulations.

For more Asbestos Program inquiries contact edward.harris@dc.gov

Obtain an Asbestos Abatement Permit.

Contact TTY: 
711