Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has unique fire resistance properties and high tensile strength. Asbestos can still be found in products today, including automotive brake pads, roofing shingles, drywall, floor tiles, ceiling tiles, and many other building materials.

The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) and its regulations require public school districts and non-profit schools including charter schools and schools affiliated with religious institutions to inspect their schools for asbestos-containing building material and prepare management plans and to take action to prevent or reduce asbestos hazards.  These legal requirements are founded on the principle of "in-place" management of asbestos-containing material.  Removal of these materials is not usually necessary unless the material is severely damaged or will be disturbed by a building demolition or renovation project.  Personnel working on asbestos activities in schools must be trained and accredited in accordance with The Asbestos Model Accreditation Plan.  In addition, if removal of asbestos during renovation is warranted, or school buildings will be demolished, public school districts and non-profit schools must comply with the Asbestos National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP).

Asbestos in Schools
ABC's of Asbestos in Schools
FAQ's about Asbestos - from Montana Department of Enviormental Quality
AHERA Designated Person Self Study Guide  - Self-study guide published by Maryland Dept. of Environment

Compliance Guide for Asbestos Regulations - Toxic Substances Control Act