Asbestos has commonly been used in the manufacture and installation of a large variety of building and construction materials since the 1800's.

Asbestos is perhaps the most common carcinogen and is regulated by at least six (6) government agencies.* Many regulations emphasize protection to workers who will be involved with construction activities.

Key Facts About Asbestos
Containing Materials (ACM)

  • There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos
  • ACM in California that contains more than 0.1% asbestos (Federal 1.0%)
  • Building owners are required to notify tenants of the presence of asbestos
  • Buildings constructed in the 1970s or before are most likely to contain ACM
  • Sprayed-on or troweled-on building materials installed prior to 1981 are presumed to be asbestos (PACM) unless tested
  • The materials now considered PACM were banned in the middle to late 1970s. Many other ACM are still being produced

Most city building departments will require an asbestos survey prior to issuance of a building permit for remodeling, renovation or demolition of older buildings. It is important to know what the future owner is planning for the building, the approximate amount of asbestos present and its removal cost which could be substantial.

Asbestos sampling is separate from a standard Phase 1 ESA. During ESA inspections, inspectors like ERAS note any suspected ACM and their physical condition. Removal of ACM is almost never recommended as there are many alternatives. However, the cost of any potential future removal is a financial liability to the building owner.