Homes and structures that are damaged or destroyed by a flood or fire can result in toxic debris and ash that contains heavy metals, asbestos, and other hazardous materials. If inhaled, microscopic asbestos fibers pose a serious health threat because they can become permanently lodged in body tissues.
Asbestos in Debris
Disturbing debris from structures containing asbestos may expose individuals. Therefore, the District strongly recommends that:
- An asbestos survey be conducted by a California state-licensed asbestos consultant before disturbing debris that is suspected to contain asbestos. See Determining if Asbestos is Present below for more information.
- Asbestos-containing debris be removed by a California state-licensed asbestos contractor. See If Asbestos is Present below for more information.
Determining if Asbestos is Present
If you suspect the structure damaged contained asbestos, a California state-licensed asbestos consultant should conduct a survey and take samples of the materials for laboratory analysis.
A list of local state-certified asbestos consultants is available here. You may also search for one through the California Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) California Asbestos Consultants and Certified Site Technicians database or refer to the telephone directory’s yellow pages under “Asbestos Consulting and Testing.”
If Asbestos Is Present
If asbestos-containing material is identified, a California state-licensed asbestos abatement contractor should remove it in a safe and legal manner.
A list of local state-certified asbestos removal contractors is available here. You may also search for one through California Asbestos Registrants’ Database or check in your telephone directory under “Asbestos Abatement and Removal Service.”
While the District does not have jurisdiction over removal of debris from single-family homes that is suspected to contain asbestos, the District may have notification and removal requirements for debris that are suspected to contain asbestos from other types of structures that are not single-family homes. If you fall into this category, please check with us before doing any removal by emailing [email protected] or calling (805) 961-8800.
- APCD Asbestos Webpage
- Santa Barbara County Public Health Department 12/21/17 Press Release: County Public Health Declares Local Health Emergency
- Santa Barbara County Public Works Thomas Fire Debris Clean Up
- California Contractors State License Board Disaster Help Center
- California Contractors State License Board Tips for Hiring a Contractor