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Asbestos Information for Contractors and Businesses

Contractors, business owners and landlords must identify and properly abate asbestos-containing materials before renovation or demolition of any building.

What contractors and business owners need to know about asbestos
Español: Lo que los propietarios de viviendas deben saber
Licensing and certification for asbestos abatement requires training, documentation of previous asbestos abatement experience, and registration with the Construction Contractors Board and the Oregon Business Registry.

For more information, please read DEQ’s fact sheet on Becoming a DEQ-licensed Asbestos Abatement Contractor, Certified Worker or Certified Supervisor

​All commercial buildings regardless of construction date and residential buildings constructed before 2004 must have an asbestos survey conducted by an accredited inspector prior to any demolition or renovation activities, with one main exception. Owner-occupants of a single family home doing their own home renovation work are exempt from this rule. A copy of the asbestos survey report must be on-site during all renovation or demolition activities, and must be provided to DEQ upon request. Read more about asbestos survey requirements and who can perform asbestos surveys​.

​​Required notifications include:

As of November 2018, distinct layers cannot be composited for analysis. When a sample consists of two or more distinct layers or materials, each layer must be treated separately and the results must be reported by individual layer.
Plaster and stucco: If plaster and stucco wall or ceiling systems are layered, and the layers can be distinguished, then the layers must be analyzed separately. Where a plaster or stucco wall system is constructed in layers, and the asbestos-containing layer becomes a distinguishable but "non-separable" component of the wall system, the results of the analysis of the individual layer(s) may include a small amount of the other layers when analyzed (for example: a skim or brown coat layer may contain a small amount of the base coat layer in the analysis of the skim coat layer).
Add-on materials (surfacing): All materials "added" to wallboard or other base materials (such as sprayed-on materials, paint, ceiling or wall texture) must be analyzed separately, if possible. The results of the analysis of those individual layers of "add-on" material cannot be averaged with the result of the analysis of wallboard for a composite result, but must be analyzed and reported separately. Where a thin coating of one material is applied over another material and the materials cannot be separated without compromising the layers, the analysis may include a small amount of the base layer. If for example, a paint layer containing asbestos is spread over a wallboard layer, and the paint layer cannot be separated from the wallboard, then a small amount of the wallboard layer may be included in the sample of the paint.
Joint compound and wallboard: When joint compound and/or tape is applied to wallboard it becomes an integral part of the wallboard and in effect becomes one material forming a wall or ceiling system. Therefore, a bulk sample of the system that contains the joint compound, tape, and wallboard may be analyzed to identify the asbestos percentage of the system. Surfacing materials or other layers that can be separated must not be included in the analysis.

​Oregon DEQ and OSHA produced an asbestos guide to help construction workers and employers understand the rules and regulations surrounding the dangerous task of working with materials containing asbestos.

​Asbestos is commonly found in walls, ceilings, floors, roofs, siding, HVAC systems, insulation, pipes and more.

​​To obtain a license from DEQ, contractors must submit a complete asbestos abatement contractor license application and a non-refundable $1,000 fee. Applicants must provide the following information
  1. Registration with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board.
  2. Registration with the Oregon Business Registry Section of the Corporations Division.
  3. A list of certified supervisors employed by the company.
  4. A list of all asbestos-related enforcement actions taken against the company. 
Fill out the Asbestos Abatement Contractor License Application (This form is now available in Your DEQ Online.  For more information please visit Your DEQ Online Help page.)

​​Any area where friable asbestos materials are to be abated must be enclosed with a negative pressure enclosure prior to and during abatement.

A negative pressure enclosure is not required when abating petroleum-based roofing products, cement asbestos roofing, or if the project can be contained in a single glove bag.

Barrier Requirements:
The barrier must cover all gaps in the area surrounding the asbestos abatement, including doorways, windows, HVAC systems, drains, plumbing, and other gaps with plastic with a minimum thickness of 6 mil.

Plastic sheeting that does not cover a gap in the abatement area, but is used to protect structural components or equipment, does not have to have a thickness of 6 mil.

Waste Handling and Disposal:
The material used to establish a negative pressure enclosure is considered Asbestos-Containing Waste Material (ACWM), and must be packaged and disposed of in accordance with DEQ regulations.

For more information on NPEs, please contact us.



File a complaint


For general questions about DEQ's asbestos program, contact Ava Raiza, 503-229-5982.

View our Regional Program Contacts page.