Step-By-Step Plan: What Should I Do If I Discover Asbestos?

Asbestos is a dangerous material that can cause lung cancer and other serious health problems. It’s important to know what to do if you discover asbestos in your home or workplace, and if any asbestos testing is required.

Here are a few simple steps to make sure that it’s removed safely, so that you and your family are protected from the dangers of this material.

  1. First things first, iIf you discover asbestos in your home or workplace, DO NOT TOUCH IT! If you do touch it and unknowingly inhale its fibers, you may be at risk for developing serious health problems. Instead, hire a professional to remove the asbestos.
  2. Stop what you’re doing and leave the area immediately. Don’t try to remove the asbestos yourself—it could be dangerous if it breaks apart or crumbles into dust.
  3. Get everyone out of the building as quickly as possible. If there are multiple people working in the same place, make sure they all know about the asbestos exposure risk and leave immediately.
  4. If you were exposed to asbestos and are worried about developing an illness from the exposure, see your doctor or contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 immediately.
  5. Call for emergency services if anyone has been exposed and needs medical attention immediately. If no one is injured, call your local fire department or building inspector for help with decontamination procedures and disposal methods for asbestos materials found on-site; these professionals will also be able to provide additional advice on how best to protect yourself from future exposures by keeping them contained within designated areas while removing them completely from others (like living spaces).
  6. Next, call a licensed asbestos removal professional as soon as possible—even if it’s at night or on a holiday. The longer you wait to address the problem, the more likely it is that harmful levels of asbestos could be released into the air. Asbestos removal professionals can safely remove asbestos from your home so that it does not pose a risk to yourself or anyone else in your family.


Knowing what to do in the face of asbestos is crucial. Be sure to contact a professional contractor to deal with any asbestos-related matters. It’s best if you leave the work to a professional—as this type of work can get expensive if done improperly and can be life-threatening if it’s done too fast.

Author Bio-

Building off over 3 decades of experience from working with his father Jim Mayfield (Mayfield Enterprises, Inc.), James mastered the industry in Foremanship for over 15 years on HAZMAT and Superfund Sites throughout Southern California. Among many other partners, we has worked with Project Navigator, RE Solutions, Crew Grading Inc., WSP, SCS Engineers, TRC Corporation, GeoSyntec, NV5 Environmental, Entact Corp, Waste by Rail, Michael Baker, ERRG, O&M Corp, Largo Concrete, B&D Construction, Xebec, WorkSmart, JLL Enterprises, Mayfield Enterprises, Inc., Arcadis, and more. In addition to being a Stanford-educated Professor with over 30 publications and books in several languages (see Academic Resume), James’ real passion lies in Construction-related Project Management, Environmental Cleanups, HAZMAT, Excavation, and Field Labor. We are also Minority-Owned. James Mayfield is a Native American citizen of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas & Nebraska.