Air Pollution Control Program fact sheet
Division of Environmental Quality Director: Kyra Moore

This document is one in a series of fact sheets designed to assist you in becoming aware of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ asbestos requirements. This particular document contains general information about asbestos, such as where it may be found and the dangers it may pose. This document also identifies regulatory agencies that govern asbestos removal activities.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber. Because of its unique properties, such as fire resistance, high tensile strength, poor heat and electric conductivity, and being generally impervious to chemical attacks, it was used in a number of different materials, mainly building products and brake pads, up into the 1970s. It may still be found in some products currently being manufactured.

It is estimated there have been more than 3,000 different commercial applications of asbestos-containing materials, or ACM. Some examples of potential asbestos-containing materials include cementitious siding and wallboard (transite), asphalt and vinyl floor tile, linoleum, flooring mastics, textured paints, acoustical plaster, ceiling tiles and panels, fireproofing materials, theatre curtains, blown-in insulation, boiler insulation, HVAC duct insulation, pipe insulation, chalkboards, roofing shingles and felts, joint compounds, spackling compounds and brake pads.

Asbestos fibers are very small and are invisible to the naked eye. They can only be positively identified with a special type of microscope. Asbestos fibers may range in size from less than one micron to 30 microns in length. Put into perspective, there are 25,400 microns in an inch.

Health Effects

Because of the microscopic nature of asbestos fibers, they can easily be inhaled into the lungs where they can eventually lead to disease. There are three major health risks associated with asbestos exposure: asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer. Studies have also indicated cancers of the mouth, throat, digestive tract and other organs may be caused by asbestos as well. There is currently no known safe level of asbestos exposure.

  • Asbestosis is caused by an accumulation of asbestos fibers in the lungs, which eventually leads to the development of scar tissue. Symptoms include shortness of breath, cough, decreased ability to exercise, chest pain and eventual heart failure.
  • Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lung and abdominal cavity. This cancer is rare but currently untreatable. Symptoms include shortness of breath and chest pain. Mesothelioma usually does not appear until 20 to 40 years after first exposure to asbestos.
  • Lung cancer accounts for most of the deaths related to asbestos exposure. The chance of contracting lung cancer is affected by the type of asbestos fiber inhaled, and increased by smoking and exposure to other chemicals.

Regulatory Agencies

There are several agencies that regulate asbestos because of its associated dangers. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for governing asbestos abatement projects in Missouri. There are also several federal agencies that govern asbestos activities. These include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Missouri Department of Natural Resources Requirements

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is a delegated agency of the EPA for the purposes of administering 40 CFR Part 61, Subpart M, the National Emission Standard for Asbestos, commonly referred to as the asbestos NESHAP. This body of regulation contains requirements for asbestos inspection, project notification, emission control procedures for asbestos removal and asbestos waste disposal.

In addition to the requirements of the federal asbestos NESHAP, the department has additional state regulations that govern asbestos activities. These regulations include requirements for trained and registered contractors to perform asbestos abatement work. These regulations also ensure that individuals who perform asbestos inspections, and who design and work on asbestos abatement projects, are properly trained by accredited training providers and certified by the department. The department’s regulations governing asbestos are available at 10 CSR 10-6.241 and 10 CSR 10-6.250.

In some cases, the department has delegated the requirements for enforcement of the asbestos NESHAP to local agencies. Contact information for these agencies is available in this document. As delegated agencies of the EPA, the department and the local agencies must enforce requirements at least as stringent as federal requirements. However, delegated agencies may have other requirements in addition to the federal requirements. It is important to contact the appropriate agency regarding additional requirements that may apply to your project.

EPA Requirements

EPA has two additional laws, which it enforces; the Asbestos Hazardous Emergency Response Act (AHERA), and the EPA Worker Protection Rule. AHERA contains specific rules for identifying and managing asbestos-containing materials in school buildings. The Worker Protection Rule extends worker protection standards to workers not previously covered by OSHA, primarily governmental employees. For questions about requirements under AHERA or the EPA Worker Protection Rule, you should contact EPA at 800-223-0425 or 913-551-7003.

OSHA Requirements

OSHA requirements are in place to ensure the protection of workers who must work with, or around, asbestos-containing materials. These requirements include such things as mandatory training for employees whose work involves asbestos-containing materials, requirements for use of personal protective equipment, such as respirators and protective clothing, and specific work practices that must be followed for the removal of different types of asbestos-containing materials. The department recommends individuals who will undertake projects involving asbestos-containing materials, whether regulated by the department or not, perform the projects in accordance with all applicable OSHA requirements. This will help to ensure those performing the project will be adequately protected from asbestos exposure.

For more information about OSHA requirements you may contact their office at:

Kansas City Area OfficeSt. Louis Area Office
2300 Main St., Suite 100301222 Spruce St., Room 9.104
Kansas City, MO 64108St. Louis, MO 63103
816-483-9531314-425-4249, 314-425-4255 Voicemail
816-483-9724 fax314-425-4289 fax
Toll Free {MO residents only}: 800-892-2674Toll Free (MO residents only): 800-392-7743

Department of Transportation Requirements

The DOT regulates the transportation of asbestos-containing materials on public roadways. If you are transporting asbestos waste, the vehicle being used must be properly placarded in accordance with their requirements. For more information about DOT requirements, contact their office at 202-366-4000.

Asbestos Contact Information

For more information on the department’s asbestos requirements, you may contact the department’s Air Pollution Control Program or one of the department’s other offices:

Local Agencies

In Missouri, there are three local agencies that have an agreement with the department to enforce Missouri’s asbestos requirements as well as local ordinances. These local agencies are:

Kansas CityKansas City Health Department
Air Quality Program
St. Louis CountySt. Louis County Health Department314-615-8924
St. Louis (city)St. Louis Division of Air Pollution Control
Air Quality Program

One other local agency does not process asbestos notifications, but they perfrom compliance inspections of regulated abatement projects and demolitions, and may have additional local ordinances concerning asbestos that they enforce.

SpringfieldSpringfield-Greene County Health Department of Environmental Services417-864-1412

Before performing a project in one of these jurisdictions, you should contact the appropriate agency to determine if any additional requirements apply.

Additional Asbestos Related Guidance Documents

For more specific information about the department’s requirements in regard to asbestos, reference the additional guidance documents listed below or contact the department or appropriate local agency at the contact information found in this fact sheet.

These documents are available for free download from the department’s Document Search.


Nothing in this document may be used to implement any enforcement action or levy any penalty unless promulgated by rule under chapter 536 or authorized by statute.

For more information