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Tennessee Asbestos Regulations

It’s finally time to begin that much-anticipated renovation project you’ve been planning for years. But don’t start tearing into those walls and ceilings just yet – they may contain dangerous levels of asbestos, a toxic substance found in many older homes and structures. Whether you’re a homeowner or contractor, you’ll need to become very familiar with federal and Tennessee asbestos regulations before you embark on any renovation or demolition work. There are also regulations relating to the presence of asbestos in the workplace. Read on to learn more about Tennessee asbestos regulations.

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral once popular in the construction and commercial products industries for its heat-resistant, flexible properties. It was used heavily during the 20th century until the 1960’s and 1970’s when the dangers of asbestos exposure became more well-known. While most uses are now banned, many structures, such as popcorn ceilings, still have asbestos-containing material (ACM) in them. It’s now well-established that inhaling asbestos particles can lead to lung cancer, mesothelioma (cancer of the chest and abdominal linings), and asbestosis (irreversible lung scarring similar to emphysema), even though an exposed person might not develop symptoms or a disease until 20 or more years after their asbestos exposure.

Asbestos Laws in Tennessee

Because asbestos exposure poses such serious health effects, Tennessee and the federal government have enacted asbestos laws and regulations to protect workers, contractors, and the general public. For example, owners or operators of certain demolition or renovation projects must notify the Tennessee Air Pollution Control Board of the project at least 10 working days before the asbestos work begins. Additionally, workers must ensure the asbestos-containing material is properly wetted and transported to an approved disposal facility. In general, Tennessee regulations echo the federal standards found in the National Emissions Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) asbestos regulations.

The safety procedures and standards detailed in Tennessee’s asbestos regulations are meant to prevent asbestos fibers from being released into the air and inhaled by workers and the general public. The following chart provides some of the key sections of Tennessee’s asbestos regulations, as well as relevant regulatory agencies.


Asbestos Regulatory Agencies



Asbestos Removal Regulations

  • Individuals performing asbestos activities in schools or public and commercial buildings must be accredited according to Tennessee regulations (§1200-01-20)
  • Persons removing certain asbestos-containing material must notify and submit a permit to the Tennessee Division of Air Pollution Control for certain asbestos quantities (and for any demolition even if there is no asbestos present) (40 CFR 61.145(c); §1200-03-11-.02(2)(d)).
  • Asbestos emission control and wetting procedures (§1200-03-11-.02(2)(d)(3))
  • Standards for asbestos disposal (applicable even to private residences who don’t have to follow other regulations) (§1200-03-11-.01(2)(j))

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.

Tennessee Asbestos Regulations: Related Resources

Confused About Tennessee Asbestos Regulations? Talk to an Attorney

Working with asbestos and knowing what regulations to follow can be a huge headache. And being exposed to asbestos can lead to devastating illnesses. If you think you inhaled asbestos, you may be entitled to compensation for the effects of that exposure, even if your symptoms didn’t show up until decades later. To learn more, talk to a Tennessee injury lawyer today.

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