Overview of California Asbestos Regulations

Although humans have mined asbestos for over four thousand years, it wasn’t until the 20th century that asbestos was rampantly used for its heat and flame resistance by the manufacturing industry. Asbestos’ natural and fibrous texture made it ideal for building materials, brake pads, and other purposes where heat and flame resistance was necessary. However, the use of asbestos drastically fell after the public learned about its severe toxicity to humans in the 1970s. People were shocked to hear that inhalation of asbestos fibers caused severe and sometimes fatal illnesses such as asbestosis (scarring of the lungs), lung cancer, and mesothelioma (a specific deadly form of cancer).

On top of exposure from buildings and in certain jobs, California has a tremendous amount of naturally occurring asbestos or NOA. For example, the California town Coalinga, where asbestos was previously mined and processed heavily, was given Superfund status from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

While restrictions on the mining and industrial use of asbestos have certainly helped lower exposure, the mineral still remains in aging buildings, mining sites, and several places throughout the U.S. In addition, those who were exposed years ago are still discovering they’ve suffered asbestos-related conditions that they had no prior knowledge of.

See how a California personal injury attorney can help those affected by Asbestos.

Due to asbestos’ ability to cause serious illness and death, and because it still persists in heavily populated locations, its removal and handling are strictly regulated by both federal and state governments.

A summary of California’s Asbestos Regulations are provided below:


  • 8 CCR §1529 (asbestos in construction)
  • 8 CCR §5208 (asbestos in general industry)
  • 8 CCR §8358 (asbestos in shipyards)
  • 8 CCR §341.15 (certification of asbestos consultants and site surveillance technicians)

Asbestos Regulatory Agencies


  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Develops and enforces regulations necessary to protect the general public from exposure to airborne contaminants that are known to be hazardous to human health (See 42 U.S.C. § 7401 et. seq).
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)


  • Cal/OSHA: Asbestos and Carcinogen Unit

Cal/OSHA Asbestos Contractor Registration

Asbestos Registration

Asbestos Removal Regulations

Conditions Triggering Registration Requirements:

  • Asbestos-containing construction materials (ACCM)– The work involves any manufactured construction material which contains more than 1/10th of 1% asbestos by weight.
  • Asbestos-related work– The activity, by disturbing asbestos-containing construction materials (ACCM), may release asbestos fibers into the air and is not related to its manufacture, the mining or excavation of asbestos-bearing ore or materials.
  • Size of job– The square footage of ACCM involved must equal or exceed 100 sq. ft. at a single worksite.

Rules for work involving less than 100 sq. ft. of ACCM:

  • The employer must send a simple “report of use” to Cal/OSHA. Reports of use are also required for manufacturing and other general industry settings. See 8 CCR Section 5203, the Carcinogen Report of Use Requirements.

Source: http://statelaws.findlaw.com/california-law/california-asbestos-regulations.html