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Asbestos Abatement

The Iowa Division of Labor (Iowa OSHA) administers Iowa’s Asbestos Licensing and Asbestos Permitting programs. Iowa OSHA enforces regulations designed to protect workers from asbestos. The Air Quality Bureau of Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) mitigates the release of asbestos, and limits access to the environment. A contractor must notify the Division of Labor at least 10 working days in advance of any asbestos abatement or removal project. The Iowa DNR now uses an online notification system you'll need to register and create an account in order to submit your notification.

You are required to notify Iowa OSHA and Iowa DNR of asbestos abatement.

A contractor that performs asbestos work must obtain an asbestos permit, and people who work on an asbestos project must obtain an asbestos license. You may browse our database of people and businesses authorized to perform asbestos work in Iowa.

Asbestos is well recognized as a health hazard and its use is now highly regulated by both OSHA and EPA. Asbestos fibers associated with these health risks are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Breathing asbestos fibers can cause a buildup of scar-like tissue in the lungs and result in loss of lung function that often progresses to disability and death.

Worker exposure to asbestos hazards are addressed in specific OSHA standards for the construction industry, general industry and shipyard employment sectors. These standards reduce the risk to workers by requiring that employers provide personal exposure monitoring to assess the risk and hazard awareness training for operations where there is any potential exposure to asbestos.

There is no “safe” level of asbestos exposure for any type of asbestos fiber.

Every occupational exposure to asbestos contributes to the risk of getting an asbestos related disease. Where there is exposure, employers are required to further protect workers by establishing regulated areas, controlling certain work practices and instituting engineering controls to reduce the airborne levels. The employer is required to ensure exposure is reduced by using administrative controls and provide for the wearing of personal protective equipment. Medical monitoring of workers is also required when legal limits and exposure times are exceeded.

Training, Licensing & Permit

A classroom and female Asbestos Trainer.

Learn more about asbestos training, licensing and permitting requirements in Iowa.

10 Day Notification

An alarm clock, notification is typically required for asbestos projects.

A contractor must notify the Division of Labor at least 10 working days in advance of any asbestos abatement or removal project.

What is the hazard?

Asbestos fibers are released into the air during activities that disturb asbestos-containing materials. The asbestos fibers can then be inhaled without knowing and trapped in the lungs. If swallowed, they can become embedded into the digestive tract as well. Asbestos is a known human carcinogen and can cause chronic lung disease as well as lung and other cancers. Symptoms and/or cancer may take many years to develop following exposure.

Where is the hazard?

The hazard may occur during manufacturing of asbestos-containing products; performing brake or clutch repairs; renovating or demolishing buildings or ships; or cleanup from those activities; contact with deteriorating asbestos-containing materials and during cleanup after natural disasters. Some materials are presumed to contain asbestos if installed before 1981. Examples of these materials, as well as other presumed asbestos-containing materials are:

  • Thermal system insulation
  • Roofing and siding shingles
  • Vinyl floor tiles and adhesives
  • Plaster, cement, putties and caulk
  • Ceiling tiles and spray-on coatings
  • Industrial pipe wrapping
  • Heat-resistant textiles
  • Automobile brake linings and clutch pads
  • Do not sand, saw, drill, chip, or any mechanical means on asbestos-containing material.
  • Use wet methods.
  • If asbestos-containing flooring material has sufficiently sealed, brushing or dry buffing is permissible.
  • If these methods are properly implemented, personal protective equipment (PPE) should not be necessary.

Common Questions - FAQ

Answers to common questions about Asbestos licensing and remediation.

Hours of Operation

8:00am to 4:30pm • Monday - Friday

Contact Information

Iowa OSHA
Asbestos Abatement
150 Des Moines Street
Des Moines IA, 50309-1836

In Person

Applications will not be processed in-person. You may drop off payments and documents at the office during normal business hours.