Colorado Hazard Control Offers Valuable Insights On How To Protect Yourself From Asbestos Remediation Fraud

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Is It Acceptable for an Asbestos Testing Company To Do the Abatement?

Denver, Colorado, July 02, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The institutions tasked with protecting public health and the environment sometimes pass legislation that isn’t particularly helpful. That’s true of all government entities, including the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

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One piece of legislation that’s especially concerning for people needing asbestos mitigation is Colorado’s Regulation #8, Part B. It’s about air pollution and asbestos-containing materials and reads as follows:

“To prevent any real or potential conflicts of interest, Building Inspectors identifying asbestos-containing material must be independent of the General Abatement Contractor that will subsequently abate the asbestos-containing material identified.”

That may sound like a good law to have on the books, and it answers the question in the title of this article: No, it’s not acceptable (or legal) for an asbestos testing company to perform the abatement. However, despite the intent behind the regulation, we believe it actually opens the door to fraud.

Read on to learn why we think the law is problematic for people who own homes and other buildings.

Public Health Regulations and Asbestos Management: The “Two Companies” Workaround

Taken at face value, the regulation above appears to be an exemplar of well-crafted, thoughtful public policy. It is clearly designed to protect homeowners and commercial building owners from the potential fraud that can occur when individuals tasked with identifying known hazards—in this case asbestos-containing materials—are also those responsible for removing said hazards.

Unfortunately, it’s not having the desired effect. The fundamental problem with the wall created by CDPHE between general abatement contractors and asbestos building inspectors is that the barrier is easily surmounted by creating two separate businesses. Nothing prevents owners of asbestos consulting firms from simply obtaining a separate general abatement contractor license by filing with the CDPHE and then managing that business under the same leadership umbrella.

Separation simply requires a separate business owner/limited liability company (LLC). This could mean—and unfortunately often does—that the spouse, son, daughter, or (insert family member here) of the owner of the asbestos consulting firm establishes themself as a certified asbestos abatement contractor and general abatement contracting firm. Once the credentials are obtained and the entity is established, viola! You have legal separation. The ease with which companies can work around the regulation is a recipe for duplicitous behavior and fraud.

Fortunately, there are simple steps you can (and should) take to identify companies that have positioned themselves to be able to commit fraud should they choose to. We explain the actions to take below.

How To Protect Yourself From Asbestos Remediation Fraud

An essential first step when hiring an asbestos consulting firm is asking if they also perform asbestos abatement “in-house.” Many firms will market their ability to do so to entice homeowners and building owners looking for a turnkey solution. This should raise an immediate red flag regarding the potential for fraud.

Another means of protecting yourself is gathering bids and quotes from local general abatement contractors you identify through research rather than those suggested by the asbestos consulting firm. However, if you want to follow the firm’s recommendations, you can do so while still being vigilant for potential fraud. Specifically, you can check the Colorado Secretary of State’s webpage to identify the registered agent listed for both the asbestos consulting firm and the general abatement contractor. If they are the same, you should be suspicious.

Are all owners that have testing and remediation entities looking to cheat you? Surely not. But the problem is that without asbestos identification and abatement expertise, it’s impossible for you to know whether a provider has your best interests at heart or will leverage their power in the relationship to recommend services you don’t need.

Approach Asbestos Testing and Asbestos Abatement With Caution

Ultimately, it is up to consumers to protect themselves from asbestos abatement fraud as best they can. You must be curious and question the asbestos consulting firms you are considering to ensure you get the best services possible. Any upstanding, morally attuned business will welcome questions as an invitation to highlight their business acumen and ethical standing.

Remember, it is up to environmental consultants to prove themselves to clients, not the other way around.


About Colorado Hazard Control
Colorado Hazard Control is the natural industrial, commercial and residential environmental solutions provider achieving the highest quality workmanship by focusing intensely on what we do best — health, safety, and environmental compliance. With locations in Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo, we offer our services statewide. Whatever your needs – lead abatement, mold remediation, radon mitigation, demolition, or training – we’re there with 24-hour emergency response available. https://www.coloradohazard.com

Media Contact: Lynnelle Beaver, 303-410-4941

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