Asbestos

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber found in rocks and soil. It was once widely used in building materials and products to strengthen them and provide heat insulation and fire resistance. Asbestos can still be found in some products today, where alternative materials do not work. When intact and undisturbed, asbestos-containing materials generally do not pose a health risk. Damaged asbestos-containing materials may pose a health risk if fibers are released into the air and inhaled into the lungs.

Asbestos in Buildings

The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) assists building owners, including homeowners, schools, child care centers and businesses, in understanding how to handle and manage asbestos and reduce exposures to asbestos containing building materials (ACBM).  

Asbestos Abatement Training and Certification

NJDOH and the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) work together to ensure that the workforce that abates ACBMs is properly trained and certified.

  • All asbestos abatement work must be conducted by a DOLWD- licensed asbestos abatement contractor.
  • All of the contractor’s employees who conduct asbestos abatement work must be trained by a NJDOH-certified training agency, which has met the training requirements set forth by the NJDOH.
  • Initial applicants must pass the NJDOH state examination, conducted by a third party, to ensure they understand the information presented in the training course (see below for additional information).
  • Finally, once the examination is successfully passed, the employee can apply to LWD for an asbestos abatement worker or supervisor permit.
State Asbestos Examination
Asbestos Inspection and Investigation

The NJDOH:

  • Conducts investigations in response to complaints, tips, or referrals that allege of illegal asbestos abatements
  • Inspects schools to ensure that their asbestos management plans are up-to-date and accurate
  • Conducts site inspections of schools under renovation to ensure that no ACM is disturbed during the work
  • Conducts inspections of our child care centers and educational facilities to ensure that any ACM is in good condition. If ACM is found to be in disrepair, NJDOH requires remedial response actions by a LWD-licensed asbestos abatement contractor, or require it to be abated depending on the condition of the material. Follow-up inspections are then conducted by NJDOH to verify the remedial response action was completed satisfactorily.
Last Reviewed: 10/6/2016