Overview: Asbestos in the Built Environment

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has been used in building construction materials for insulation and as a fire retardant. Other manufactured goods that may contain asbestos include building materials (e.g. roofing shingles, ceiling and floor tiles, paper products, and asbestos cement products), friction products (e.g. automobile clutch, brake, and transmission parts), heat-resistant fabrics, packaging, gaskets, and coatings. Some vermiculite or talc products may contain asbestos.

If these materials are disturbed or damaged in any way—such as when renovating or demolishing a building—asbestos fibers can be released into the air and breathed in. Exposure to asbestos fibers increases the risk of developing health effects—such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.

Exposure to asbestos can be prevented, as long as building owners, homeowners, and property owners know how to reduce or eliminate exposure to airborne asbestos fibers, and what danger signs to look for.

If you think you have been exposed to asbestos, call your health care provider right away. Even if you don’t feel sick, tell your health care provider that you might have been exposed to asbestos.

Asbestos in Vermont

The Asbestos and Lead Regulatory Program works to protect the physical and environmental health of Vermonters from asbestos exposure and to prevent public exposure to asbestos in workplaces, buildings, and housing associated with asbestos abatement activity.

Through outreach we educate the public about state and federal asbestos laws. Through our enforcement and compliance inspection process, we conduct random or for-cause inspections of renovation and demolition projects to ensure compliance with applicable regulations. Our goal is to carry out our mission efficiently, effectively, fairly, and professionally with respect and dedication to all Vermonters.

Fact Sheets, Regulatory Information & Forms for:

Included below are resources and materials from the Health Department, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).



Asbestos in Your Home

A guide to asbestos in the home from the EPA.

Vermiculite Attic Insulation – Current Best Practices

A brochure summarizing current best practices for managing asbestos-contaminated vermiculite insulation from the ATSDR.


Information from the EPA on asbestos contamination in vermiculite and vermiculite products, uses of vermiculite, fact sheets, reports, and links to EPA Regional vermiculite pages.

Asbestos in Schools

Comprehensive resources and information from the EPA regarding asbestos in schools.

Health Effects of Asbestos—ATSDR

Information on the health effects of asbestos, information for the medical community, and general information on what asbestos is and what products it’s used in.

Asbestos Website—EPA

Information on: what asbestos is, how to protect your family, asbestos in school buildings, requirements for building owners/managers, asbestos at cleanup sites, and asbestos professionals.

ToxFAQs™ for Asbestos

A fact sheet summarizing frequently asked questions from the ATSDR.

Contact Information

Asbestos & Lead Regulatory Program
108 Cherry St., PO Box 70
Burlington, VT 05402
Phone: 802-863-7220 or
800-439-8550 (toll-free within VT)
Fax: 802-863-7483