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Protecting Workers and the Public from Asbestos
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral composed of fibers that can be separated into threads. It is used in building materials and friction products due to its strength, resistance to fire and heat, and inability to conduct electricity. When asbestos-containing materials deteriorate or become damaged or disturbed during demolition or renovation projects, maintenance activities, natural disasters, or through natural decay, asbestos fibers can be released into the air. Inhaling asbestos fibers can result in serious and fatal illnesses.
Numerous federal and state regulations exist to reduce human exposure to airborne asbestos and minimize environmental impacts. With the exception of residential buildings with four or fewer dwelling units, facilities must be inspected by an Indiana-licensed asbestos inspector before demolition or renovation activities can occur. Homeowners do not have to abide by the notification and emission control and work practice requirements that others must follow for demolition and renovation. But all generators of waste that includes regulated asbestos-containing material must follow rules for proper waste disposal and comply with local ordinances.
All asbestos professionals in Indiana (inspectors, workers, contractors, and training course providers) must meet qualifications for their discipline and have a valid license from IDEM. Training and licensing information is available. The public can use the free Search and Verify database to find and verify the license status of Indiana asbestos license holders.
IDEM’s does not oversee local ordinances, federal asbestos requirements for schools, or workplace health and safety laws for asbestos but does provide resources on these topics.