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Rhode Island Asbestos Regulations

Asbestos was once widely used in construction and other industries where fire-resistance is crucial, but its use was largely phased out once its severe health risks became well-established. A fibrous, naturally occurring mineral, asbestos can cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other serious illnesses when inhaled. Although it is no longer used in new products, asbestos still remains hidden in old buildings and only becomes a problem when exposed to the air, typically during demolitions and renovations.

The following chart highlights Rhode Island's regulations pertaining to asbestos abatement projects and licensing requirements.

Rhode Island Asbestos Regulations: The Basics

Statutes and Codes
  • Rhode Island General Laws § 23-24.5-5. Asbestos exposure standards
  • Rules and Regulations for Asbestos Control (R23-24.5-ASB)
Asbestos Regulatory Agencies


Rhode Island:

Asbestos-Related Prohibitions
  • No asbestos abatement project shall be undertaken unless the Asbestos Contractor is licensed with the Agency and an asbestos abatement plan has been approved by the Agency.
  • No on-site work for an approved asbestos abatement project may be conducted unless at least one of the Asbestos Contractor's licensed Asbestos Abatement Site Supervisors and an individual certified by the American Red Cross (or equivalent) in Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation and basic first-aid are physically present on the job site.
  • No owner shall allow any person to be exposed to friable asbestos materials when such exposure is a violation of the provisions of the Act, these regulations or the indoor non-occupational air exposure standard.
  • No building or demolition permit involving asbestos abatement shall be issued by any municipal or state official unless the application for the permit includes a certified copy of an approved abatement plan and a certified copy of the license of the Asbestos Contractor who shall undertake the work.
  • Individuals certified only for spot repairs shall not undertake any asbestos abatement project which is: (1) larger than the size limits for a Spot Repair as defined by the regulations; or (2) in buildings other than those specifically authorized on their Certification.
Asbestos Abatement Plan and Notification Requirements

Building owner/operator must submit an Asbestos Start Work Notification at least 10 working days prior to on-site work.

Building owner/operator must submit an Asbestos Abatement Plan:

  • Work may not commence until after the Agency has given written approval to the plan.
  • Plan must include details on the methods of repair/removal/encapsulation; team of licensed contractors performing the work; schedule for completion; disposal location; level of compliance with exposure and action criteria; among other requirements.
Asbestos Contractor Licensing Requirements

General Requirements:

  • Site supervisors shall be licensed in conjunction with an application for a license by an Asbestos Contractor.
  • All Asbestos Abatement Workers must be licensed on an individual basis.


  • To apply for a license, an Asbestos Contractor or Asbestos Abatement Worker shall submit a completed application to the Agency on forms provided by the Agency. The application shall include all information required by the Act, as well as by the form and accompanying instructions.
  • The Agency may at any time after the filing of the original application require further information in order to enable the Agency to determine whether the application should be
    approved or denied.
Additional Forms and Applications

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.

Research the Law

Rhode Island Asbestos Regulations: Related Resources

Learn How Rhode Island Asbestos Regulations Apply to You: Speak to an Attorney

The above information and links will help you comply with Rhode Island law when pursuing your asbestos abatement project. Failure to comply can lead to disciplinary actions. If you've been exposed to asbestos or believe you have an asbestos-related illness, you may want to consider your legal options after getting medical attention. To learn more about the possible legal remedies, contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Rhode Island today.

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