What To Do If Your Asbestos Test Comes Back Positive

Dealing with a positive asbestos test can be overwhelming. But don’t worry—with the right steps, you can handle the situation effectively. This guide will walk you through what to do if your asbestos testing comes back positive, helping you ensure safety for yourself and others.

Understanding the Dangers of Asbestos

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral used in various building materials for its durability and resistance to heat. However, it poses serious health risks when disturbed.

Health risks of asbestos exposure

Exposure to asbestos fibers can cause severe health issues, including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. Recognizing these risks is crucial for taking appropriate action.

Where you might find asbestos

Common places where asbestos may be present include older homes, insulation, flooring, and roofing materials. Knowing where to look can help you identify potential hazards.

Stay Calm and Assess the Situation

Initial reaction

It’s natural to feel anxious upon receiving a positive asbestos test. Take a deep breath and gather your thoughts. Staying calm is the first step toward making informed decisions.

Evaluate the extent

Determine the areas affected by asbestos. This will help you understand the scope of the problem and plan your next steps accordingly. A professional asbestos inspector can assist with this.

Consider the risks

Not all asbestos poses an immediate threat. The danger arises when asbestos fibers become airborne. Evaluate whether the asbestos is damaged or likely to be disturbed.

Hire a Professional Asbestos Abatement Company

Why hire professionals?

Removing asbestos is not a DIY project. Professionals have the training and equipment to handle asbestos safely, minimizing the risk of exposure.

Choosing the right company

Look for licensed and experienced asbestos abatement companies. Check reviews, ask for references, and ensure they follow federal and state regulations.

Getting an estimate

Request a detailed estimate from the chosen company. This should include the cost of removal, containment, and disposal of asbestos materials.

Contain the Area

Preventing airborne fibers

Until professionals arrive, take steps to prevent asbestos fibers from spreading. Avoid disturbing the area and limit access.

Using appropriate barriers

Seal off the affected area with plastic sheeting and duct tape. This will help contain any fibers that might be released.

Ventilation control

Turn off HVAC systems to prevent asbestos fibers from circulating through the air. Proper ventilation control is essential in containing the hazard.

Notify Relevant Authorities

Local health department

Inform your local health department about the positive asbestos test. They can provide guidance and may have specific requirements for reporting and handling the situation.

Landlord or property manager

If you are renting, notify your landlord or property manager immediately. They are responsible for addressing asbestos issues in rental properties.

Neighbors and occupants

Make sure everyone who lives in or frequents the property is aware of the asbestos situation. This ensures they can take precautions and avoid the affected area.

Plan for Removal or Encapsulation

Scheduling the work

Plan the asbestos abatement work at a time that minimizes disruption. Ensure you and others vacate the property during the process to avoid exposure.

Confirm Proper Disposal

Safe disposal protocols

Asbestos waste must be disposed of according to strict regulations. Make sure your abatement company follows proper disposal procedures to protect the environment.

Thorough cleaning

Once asbestos removal is complete, conduct a thorough cleaning of the affected area. Use HEPA-filtered vacuums and damp cloths to remove any residual fibers.

Restoring the area

Repair or replace materials that were removed during the abatement process. This may include installing new insulation, flooring, or roofing.

Air quality testing

Consider air quality testing to ensure that no asbestos fibers remain in the environment. This provides peace of mind and confirms the area is safe.

Educate Yourself and Others

Staying informed

Continue to educate yourself about asbestos risks and safety measures. Staying informed helps you make better decisions in the future.

Sharing knowledge

Share what you’ve learned with friends, family, and neighbors. Raising awareness about asbestos can help others take proactive steps.

Joining support groups

Consider joining support groups or forums for individuals dealing with asbestos issues. Sharing experiences and advice can be helpful and reassuring.

Legal and Financial Considerations

Understanding legal obligations

Familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations regarding asbestos. Compliance is essential to avoid legal issues and penalties.

Financial assistance

Look into financial assistance options for asbestos abatement. Some government programs or insurance policies may cover part of the costs.


Dealing with a positive asbestos test can be challenging, but by taking the right steps, you can ensure safety and peace of mind. From hiring professionals to educating yourself and others, each action plays a crucial role in effectively managing asbestos risks.