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New York Asbestos Regulations

By now, you’ve probably heard about asbestos either in an ad on television or in a lawsuit that made the news. But what is asbestos and how can it affect you as a New Yorker? Whether you’re thinking about renovating your Brooklyn home, or you’re a contractor hired for a major demolition in Buffalo, you’ll need to be familiar with the hazards of asbestos and the relevant New York asbestos laws and regulations.

Asbestos and Its Health Risks

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral known for its heat-resistant, insulating properties. It was commonly used during the 20th century in building materials. Concerns about the health hazards of asbestos began to take hold in the 1960s and 1970s, with most uses banned by 1990. However, many buildings and structures, such as popcorn ceilings, still have asbestos in them. Now, asbestos is a well-known carcinogen. Inhaling asbestos can lead to lung cancer, mesothelioma (cancer of the chest and abdominal linings), and asbestosis (irreversible lung scarring), though a person might not feel sick or develop a disease until many years after their asbestos exposure.

Asbestos Laws in New York

In New York, because of the potentially serious health effects of asbestos exposure, contractors or workers who disturb or remove asbestos-containing materials must be licensed and certified according to New York State law and the New York Department of Labor. This ensures that they’ve been trained in the safety procedures and regulations necessary to deal with the materials without releasing asbestos fibers into the air. New York asbestos regulations also include requirements and procedures for testing structures prior to renovation or demolition, notifying the appropriate state agency of asbestos-related work, and required precautions for the removal, transport, and disposal of asbestos materials.

The following chart provides some of the key sections of New York’s asbestos regulations, as well as the relevant regulatory agencies.

  • Statutes
  • NY Labor Law, §900 et seq. (licensing and certification)
  • NY Labor Law, §241 (survey requirement before demolition)
  • NY Dept. of Labor, Title 12, Part 56 (asbestos rules & regulations)
  • NY Dept. of Health, Title 10, Part 73 (asbestos safety training)
  • NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Title 6, Part 360 & 364 (transport and disposal)
  • NY City Dept. of Environmental Protection, Title 15, Ch. 1 (asbestos control and abatement in New York City)
  • OSHA, §1926.1101 (federal safety and health regulations regarding asbestos)

Asbestos Regulatory Agencies


New York:

Asbestos Removal Regulations

  • Abatement regulations do not apply to owner-occupied single family dwellings where the owner performs the work (§56-1.3)
  • Contractors must be licensed to engage in asbestos project (§56-3.1)
  • Contractors and employees must be certified to engage in asbestos project (§56-3.2)
  • Licensing and certification violations may be punished by penalty of up to $2,500 for first offense and $4,000 for subsequent offenses; these and other asbestos regulation violations may also result in suspension or revocation of certification and additional fines (§909).
  • Owners must have survey completed by a licensed asbestos contractor to determine whether structure contains asbestos (exceptions apply) (§56-5.1)
  • Contractor must notify and pay fee to Asbestos Control Bureau prior to commencing a large asbestos project (§56-3.4(b))
  • Handling & removal procedures, including wetting requirements (§56-8.4)

Note: State regulations are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

New York Asbestos Regulations: Related Resources

Get a Legal Review of Your Asbestos Claim in New York

Asbestos exposure carries significant risks of developing very serious illnesses, even though you may not be diagnosed with a disease until 40 years later. Whether you worked with asbestos many years ago, or were recently exposed to it, you may be entitled to compensation for your illness. To learn more, talk to a qualified personal injury attorney in New York today.

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