Texas Asbestos Certification

Texas Asbestos Certification

In Texas, asbestos is the generic commercial designation for a group of naturally occurring minerals containing flexible fibers. These naturally occurring minerals are six in number.

Before Texas mesothelioma and asbestos laws were enacted, asbestos had been widely used in construction works as insulator materials and to strengthen materials such as paper, plastic, and cement. Asbestos is resistant to electricity, heat, and corrosion.

Despite these sterling qualities of asbestos, the six types of minerals in the asbestos group are carcinogenic, irrespective of the forms. When individuals inhale or ingest asbestos-containing materials (ACM), the fibers can stay in the body for a long time, causing inflammation, scarring, and genetic damage. Asbestos can cause mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer, and asbestosis, a progressive lung disease. As a result of the many risks associated with asbestos, the government has regulated its use in the United States and legislated that individuals handling asbestos should be certified.

There are established training courses in Texas that follow the Asbestos Model Accreditation Plan (MAP) that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approves for anyone who desires to be an approved asbestos professional. The accredited training providers handle these training courses. Therefore, individuals who want to be certified in handling asbestos can get the list of certified training courses and training courses providers from the Texas Department of State Health Services-Regulatory Licensing. All kinds of asbestos professionals like supervisors, inspectors, abatement workers, and management planners must undergo these training courses.

Furthermore, two types of training courses are available for asbestos professionals in Texas. These are initial and refresher courses. Most times, initial courses only occur within the classroom setting to satisfy regulatory requirements. On the other hand, refresher courses are either in person or online, depending on the individual’s needs, schedule, and preference. The initial courses are often for beginners, while the refresher courses are for persons who have taken the initial courses. It should be noted that a valid prior certification or training is a prerequisite for all refresher classes.

Individuals that have undergone the initial training courses and the refresher courses can apply to take the state asbestos examination to become asbestos professionals. Precisely, the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) certifies all these courses.

The Texas Department of State Health Services website highlights more information on the registration process and fees for various examination categories for asbestos professionals.

How to Get Texas Asbestos Certification?

After the initial training and qualification to practice as an asbestos professional in Texas, individuals can further apply for a license with the state. Every cadre of asbestos professionals in Texas can apply for an individual license to practice as registered asbestos professionals. Each cadre has required application requirements set by the Department of State Health Services. For example, the initial license requirements for an Asbestos Abatement Worker include:

  • A completed application (paper or online)
  • A $65 application fee
  • A passport photograph
  • A DSHS Physician’s Written Statement which must be signed or notorized by a doctor
  • A worker training certificate and training ID card
  • Any asbestos professional refresher training certificates and training IDs (if applicable) obtained before submitting the application

Similarly, individuals can obtain a license for a company running asbestos-related businesses. Individuals can get the list of licensure requirements for other categories of asbestos professionals and asbestos-related businesses from the website of Texas Health and Human Services of the Department of State Health Services. Individuals can also download the application forms from this website.

It should be noted that individuals can pay the license application fee online, and at the same time, such individuals can forward all documentation requirements to the regulatory unit by using the email address: asbestos.reg@dshs.texas.gov.

What Do Asbestos Inspectors Do in Texas?

An asbestos inspector is a professional who is certified according to the regulations that the Texas Department of State Health Services established in order to inspect buildings or homes for the presence of asbestos-containing materials (ACM). ACM is any material containing at least one percent asbestos. This category of asbestos professionals must carry out an on-site assessment before any renovation or demolition work in Texas.

Specifically, asbestos inspectors conduct an on-site assessment of buildings for asbestos-containing materials, and these professionals collect samples for testing. After the testing, asbestos inspectors compile a comprehensive report based on the observation and laboratory analysis. In case the report suggests a repair or removal of asbestos-containing materials from a home or building, asbestos inspectors will ensure that the person contracted to handle the work follows the established procedures for handling asbestos materials during and after the specified repair or removal. Asbestos inspectors equally advise homeowners on what to do to control or correct asbestos-containing materials.

How to Become an Asbestos Surveyor in Texas?

An asbestos surveyor is another member of the asbestos professional family. An asbestos surveyor understands the health risks and the building legislation regarding asbestos. This asbestos surveyor inspects buildings and homes for asbestos-containing materials. Then, the asbestos surveyor collects samples for laboratory analysis to determine the presence of asbestos. After the analyses, the asbestos surveyor will recommend removing asbestos-containing materials before demolition of buildings and renovation works.

However, there are established ways of becoming an asbestos surveyor in Texas. These are the work experience route, apprenticeship route, and college degree route. Each path has established requirements.

College Degree Route: An individual can settle for a college degree in related fields such as engineering (building or civil) and surveying. After this initial certification by the degree-awarding institution, the individual can complete the specified approved training to become an asbestos surveyor in Texas. After this initial training in asbestos handling, the individual is now qualified to act as an asbestos surveyor in Texas. Therefore, such an individual can apply for a license with the Department of State Health Services.

Apprenticeship Route: An individual can enter the world of asbestos handling by becoming an apprentice with a company. According to the regulation of Texas, an individual can apply for registered apprenticeship training from 16 years or 18 years in a hazardous occupation. After completing the apprenticeship period, the individual can go ahead to take the required asbestos handling course in Texas and become an asbestos surveyor.

Work Experience Route: This route is an easy way to gain employment for a new entrant in the construction industry. An individual can choose to work over the weekend as a student or work during the holidays. The individual can work with companies or a relative who is an asbestos professional like an asbestos surveyor. Then, the individual can learn how to handle asbestos-containing materials and become conversant with asbestos regulations in the state. Such an individual can now take the required courses and become licensed as an asbestos surveyor in Texas.

Online Asbestos Certification in Texas

There are different categories of asbestos professionals in Texas. These include asbestos workers, asbestos inspectors, asbestos surveyors, and asbestos abatement workers. Therefore, to be certified as a professional in any of these categories, an individual will have to complete some accredited training courses in line with Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) as specified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The certified courses are initial courses for beginners and refresher courses for those already practicing. Most organizations offering asbestos training allow in-person and online courses to accommodate several individuals’ needs, schedules, and preferences. Therefore, individuals can consult each of these organizations to identify those offering the certified courses online. It should be noted that individuals can apply for the license and pay prescribed application fees for the different cadre of asbestos professionals online.

How Long are Asbestos Certificates Valid for in Texas?

Asbestos certifications in Texas are valid for two years. Every cadre of asbestos professionals must renew their license following the prescribed procedure every two years from the date on their license.

Asbestos Certificate Renewal in Texas

Every asbestos professional is due to renew their certificate biennially by the date of issuance. Renewal in Texas follows prescribed procedures like the initial certification process. Individuals willing to renew their asbestos license can apply online or send the paper application to the Department of State Health Services. The individual will have to pay the prescribed fee for the specific professional cadre.

Also, individuals will have to attach evidence of attendance and completion of specified refresher courses according to AHERA regulation to the licensing unit before the due date on their current license. For instance, an asbestos inspector in Texas will need the following for renewal as specified on the Health and Human Services website.

  • A completed application (paper or online)
  • $130 application fee
  • A passport photograph
  • A signed physicians statement
  • An asbestos inspector refresher certificate and training ID