How do I Become an Asbestos Removal Contractor?

Jessica Bosari

An asbestos removal contractor works to removes the hazardous construction material asbestos from buildings, typically during renovations. To become an asbestos removal contractor, you do not need a formal education, other than high school diploma. You will need on-the-job training and certification before you can work in any hazardous materials removal field. Because asbestos is often found during renovations, it is helpful to have a construction background to become an asbestos removal contractor.

Asbestos fibers can remain in the lungs for many years after being inhaled.
Asbestos fibers can remain in the lungs for many years after being inhaled.

Asbestos was once a standard construction material used to manufacture asbestos ceiling tiles. It was also used to make asbestos popcorn ceilings. Because it was exceptionally heat-retardant, the material was often preferred in construction for its insulating and energy saving properties. Eventually governments learned that the material was dangerous to human health.

The health risks associated with asbestos exposure mean that safety precautions are a vital measure when carrying out asbestos removal.
The health risks associated with asbestos exposure mean that safety precautions are a vital measure when carrying out asbestos removal.

To become an asbestos removal contractor, you must have a specified number of hours of formal on-the-job training, depending on where you live. Most governments set specific requirements for training anyone who wants to become an asbestos removal contractor. In many cases, the employer is held responsible for any deficits in training.

To become an asbestos removal contractor, a person often has formal on-the-job training.
To become an asbestos removal contractor, a person often has formal on-the-job training.

Training is especially important for asbestos workers because of the nature of the material. Asbestos is made from tiny fibers. Over time, the material deteriorates, and renovation activities can release the asbestos fibers into the air where workers will breathe it in.

Asbestos exposure may cause lung cancer.
Asbestos exposure may cause lung cancer.

Asbestos is linked to breathing difficulties and lung tumors, creating many hazards for remediation workers. Even a small amount can be dangerous. Asbestosis, a condition where tiny asbestos fibers cause damage to the lungs, can occur in those who sustain asbestos exposure while unprotected.

Asbestos has been linked to breathing difficulties and lung tumors.
Asbestos has been linked to breathing difficulties and lung tumors.

As homes and businesses are renovated, the old asbestos tiles must be removed and disposed of properly to ensure the health of building occupants. Asbestos workers are trained to remove the asbestos safety, minimizing worker exposure to the asbestos fibers.

Asbestos removal workers must complete training programs that meet particular safety standards set by local safety and health boards. Typically, employer-sponsored training takes place in-house, rather than at a formal school. Training will include health hazards, protective gear and clothing, site safety, how to recognize and identify hazards, and decontamination methods.

Asbestos workers must be able to identify other hazardous materials because it is common to happen upon others while remediating asbestos. Some asbestos removal contractors secure licenses to handle many types of hazardous materials so they do not have to stop work upon finding the new material.

Ceiling tiles installed before 1981 may contain asbestos.
Ceiling tiles installed before 1981 may contain asbestos.

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