The Wisconsin Department of Health Services' (DHS) Asbestos Program helps protect people from exposure to asbestos from building renovations and demolitions by ensuring proper training and certification for persons and companies conducting regulated asbestos work.
Why is asbestos a concern?
Exposure to asbestos can cause lung cancer. Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has often been added to various building products to strengthen them, provide heat insulation, and make them fire resistant. When asbestos-containing materials are disturbed during building maintenance, renovation, or demolition activities, fibers can be released into the air people breathe.
How does DHS protect people in Wisconsin from asbestos exposure?
The DHS Asbestos Program regulates training and certification of individuals and companies doing asbestos-related work in Wisconsin. The DHS Asbestos Program is authorized to administer its asbestos certification and accreditation program by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Asbestos Hazards Emergency Response Act (AHERA) Asbestos Model Accreditation Plan (MAP) regulation. Our work involves:
- Educating homeowners, contractors, school districts, property managers, and others on asbestos issues.
- Certifying people with proper training to work safely with asbestos and making sure that training classes for asbestos professionals meet standards.
- Making sure asbestos work is done by trained and certified people, and that a log of all individuals who come and go into an asbestos work area is kept.
- Checking asbestos work sites to ensure contractors make and follow a plan to protect occupants (see ) and that work is conducted in a manner that protects the public health.
- Investigating complaints received from the public and stopping unsafe work.
We also work with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' Air Management Program to regulate removal of large quantities of asbestos and pre-demolition asbestos removal.
The DHS Asbestos Program maintains contact information for the individual designated by each local education agency (LEA) in Wisconsin as its asbestos coordinator. A designated asbestos coordinator must be trained to ensure the LEA complies with asbestos-related rules. The LEA must notify DHS of the name and contact information for its designated asbestos coordinator each year by October 1 using the Designated Asbestos Coordinator, F-00047 (PDF) form.
Who needs to be certified?
All untested building materials other than wood, metal, glass, or fiberglass, as well as all vermiculite, tested or untested, are assumed to contain asbestos. With few exceptions, anyone whose work involves disturbing or removing asbestos-containing materials must be certified as an asbestos supervisor or asbestos worker, and work for a certified asbestos company.
Printable asbestos guidelines are available below for some of the common types of businesses whose work is likely to disturb asbestos-containing materials and therefore be affected by the Wisconsin asbestos regulations:
- Flooring Contractors, P-00043 (PDF)
- General Contractors and Trades, P-00044 (PDF)
- Rental Property Owners and Managers, P-00065 (PDF)
- Roofing and Siding Contractors, P-00042 (PDF)
- Weatherization Contractors, P-00041 (PDF)
In addition, anyone whose consulting work involves inspecting for or sampling suspect asbestos-containing materials, designing abatement activities or school response actions, or developing management plans must be certified as an asbestos inspector, project designer, and/or management planner, as appropriate.
For more information on getting certified in an asbestos discipline, see Getting Certified to Do Asbestos Work.
Questions? Can't find what you're looking for? Contact Asbestos Program staff.