Asbestos abatement is the process of safely removing and managing asbestos-containing materials. Professional abatement procedures should always be contracted for asbestos removal jobs of any scale.

Asbestos abatement procedures, however, are about more than just the removal process. There are many phases to a solid abatement plan that leads to successful completion. Professional abatement procedures will almost always follow several key steps.

Assessment & Planning

The first step is to conduct a thorough assessment of the site to identify all asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). This may involve inspecting building materials, conducting air sampling, and reviewing historical records by qualified asbestos professional inspectors. Based on the assessment, a detailed abatement plan is developed, outlining the scope of work, safety protocols, and timeline for removal.

Preparing the Removal Area

Before any removal work begins, the work area must be properly prepared to minimize the spread of asbestos fibers. This may include sealing off the area with plastic sheeting, setting up negative air pressure systems to prevent contamination of adjacent areas, and installing decontamination units for workers.

Safety Precautions

Workers involved in asbestos abatement must be properly trained and equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent exposure to asbestos fibers. This typically includes respirators, disposable coveralls, gloves, and eye protection. Workers may also undergo medical monitoring to detect any signs of asbestos-related illness.

Asbestos Removal

The actual removal of asbestos-containing materials is typically conducted using specialized techniques to minimize the release of fibers into the air. This may involve wetting materials to reduce dust, carefully dismantling structures to avoid breakage, and using HEPA vacuum equipment to clean surfaces.

Asbestos Disposal

Once asbestos-containing materials have been removed, they must be properly packaged and disposed of according to local regulations. This often involves double-bagging materials in thick plastic bags labeled as containing asbestos and transporting them to designated disposal facilities.


After removal is complete, the work area must be thoroughly cleaned and decontaminated to ensure that no asbestos fibers remain. This may involve wet wiping surfaces, HEPA vacuuming, and air monitoring to verify that asbestos levels are below regulatory limits.  This may also require air testing by qualified air testing professionals.

Follow-Up Testing

Following cleanup, post-abatement testing may be conducted to confirm that the area is free of asbestos contamination. A final report documenting the abatement process, including testing results and disposal records, is typically prepared for regulatory compliance and record-keeping purposes.

Regulations & Guidelines

Strict adherence to safety regulations and guidelines is essential to protect the health of workers and occupants and to prevent environmental contamination. This is true throughout the entire abatement process. Asbestos abatement should always be performed by licensed and certified professionals with experience in handling hazardous materials.

Illinois Environmental Contractors Association Resources

It’s essential to consult with asbestos removal professionals and follow local regulations to assess the specific risks and costs associated with your situation. If you suspect the presence of asbestos in your property, the issue needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

For more information on finding a local contractor to assist with asbestos, lead and other regulated substance information, remediation, or removal, or if you have general questions regarding environmental regulations, check the resources below:

Illinois Environmental Contractors Association Members

IECA Common Questions & Answers

Illinois Environmental Organizations & Related Agencies

Follow Us