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Rules Governing Asbestos Testing

Asbestos is a dangerous material that can cause mesothelioma and lung cancer if it is inhaled. If you are renovating or demolishing a building that contains asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), you must follow OSHA regulations for asbestos testing and for removing ACMs from the workplace.

The following sections describe how to protect yourself from exposure to asbestos during renovation activities.

  1. Asbestos testing must be conducted every three years if your unit was built before 1980 and if you are over the age of 55, or every two years if your unit was built after 1980.
  1. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another form of asbestos-related disease, you may request additional testing at any time.
  1. If you rent out your condo unit, you are responsible for ensuring that the owner conducts annual tests on behalf of residents who live there full-time or part-time but do not pay rent directly to that person or company (such as a family member). 
  1. Follow local regulations for testing for asbestos.
  1. Don’t disturb or remove any suspected asbestos-containing material (ACM) until you’ve consulted with a qualified professional to ensure that it is safe to do so.
  1. Use caution when handling ACM because it may contain asbestos fibers which can be released into the air and cause lung damage if inhaled.
  1. If you suspect that a product contains ACM, contact a qualified professional to help determine whether further action is necessary based on your level of risk tolerance and exposure potential.
  1. Make sure you have the right equipment for the job. You can’t just grab any old thing off the shelf at Home Depot and hope for the best!
  1. Make sure your equipment is calibrated before each use. If you don’t know how to do this yourself, don’t worry—we’ll help you out!
  1. Follow all safety precautions to protect yourself and others from exposure to asbestos during testing.
  1. Be aware of how long you can wait before completing your test and how soon after completion you will be able to enter the area tested.


Asbestos was an extremely popular building material in the late nineteenth century, and many homes built between 1900 and 1945 still contain asbestos-based materials today. You ought to be sure that any asbestos removal is handled by professional workers in order to prevent any sort of complications. For more information on asbestos removal, do not hesitate to contact our experts.

Author bio

Building off over 3 decades of experience from working with his father Jim Mayfield (Mayfield Enterprises, Inc.), James mastered the industry in Foremanship for over 15 years on HAZMAT and Superfund Sites throughout Southern California. Among many other partners, we has worked with Project Navigator, RE Solutions, Crew Grading Inc., WSP, SCS Engineers, TRC Corporation, GeoSyntec, NV5 Environmental, Entact Corp, Waste by Rail, Michael Baker, ERRG, O&M Corp, Largo Concrete, B&D Construction, Xebec, WorkSmart, JLL Enterprises, Mayfield Enterprises, Inc., Arcadis, and more. In addition to being a Stanford-educated Professor with over 30 publications and books in several languages (see Academic Resume), James’ real passion lies in Construction-related Project Management, Environmental Cleanups, HAZMAT, Excavation, and Field Labor. We are also Minority-Owned. James Mayfield is a Native American citizen of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas & Nebraska.

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