Asbestos is a hazardous air pollutant. Businesses and individuals may encounter asbestos-containing materials during construction, demolition, and working in the auto industry

Because of the dangers of asbestos:

  • Avoid breathing asbestos-contaminated material (without proper equipment).
  • Avoid touching asbestos-contaminated material (without proper equipment).
  • Dispose of asbestos correctly.

Where do you find asbestos?

Asbestos is primarily found in construction and building materials, but there are a wide variety of products that contain asbestos, such as:

  • Building materials (roof shingles, siding, insulation, old linoleum, ceiling or floor tiles).
  • Auto parts (brakes, spark plugs, mufflers, air conditioning, clutches, hood liners, gaskets, valves).
  • Cement.
  • Heat-resistant fabrics (blankets, firefighting gear, lab equipment).

Naturally-occurring asbestos is also found throughout the world, including Washington state.

When is asbestos hazardous?

Asbestos exposure can occur when asbestos is released into the air. This can happen when asbestos-containing materials are disturbed through:

Why is asbestos hazardous to health?

When released into the air, asbestos can stick in your lungs and cause serious illness over time:

  • Mesothelioma (a type of cancer that may form in the lungs, abdomen, or heart).
  • Asbestosis (a type of lung disease).
  • Other types of cancer.
  • Other health complications.

Is asbestos banned?

No. Asbestos is not banned. Materials made and used today may still contain asbestos.

How do businesses safely handle asbestos?

Many industries may involve workers coming into contact with asbestos. These industries include:


If your business handles asbestos, contact the:


Contact your local clean air agency for guidance about your safety and responsibility related to asbestos removal or verification before proceeding with any home renovation or demolition projects.

Apply to demolish, renovate, or burn a building with asbestos

Businesses that plan to demolish, renovate, or are a fire department that wants to burn a building that contains asbestos for fire training, must submit certain forms and permits before doing so.