There is no federal law that makes burying asbestos illegal in the United States. If you bury asbestos or asbestos containing material in your garden, it is safe as long as no one disturbs it. Then, when you want to sell your house, your buyer may want you to state in the agreement that there is no asbestos in the house. This may pose a problem for you.

Asbestos that has been buried can still pose a danger

It is also possible that someone else who does not know that you have buried asbestos in the garden will disturb the soil by mistake. This can be dangerous to your family, neighbors, and others in the local area. This could also lead to some legal action against you.

Therefore, the best way is to dispose of the asbestos in government-designated landfills by experienced and trained asbestos removal experts.

Asbestos Disposal Laws in the United States May Depend On Which State You Are In

Each state does have its own laws regarding disposal of waste involving asbestos.

For example, California has strong requirements on employers for removing asbestos. 

Florida has more limited regulations, and requirements of what evidence must be shown in asbestos lawsuits.

Some Countries Have Different Asbestos Regulations and Rules from the US

Some countries make it illegal to handle asbestos in several ways. 

For instance, in Australia, it is illegal to:

  • Dispose of asbestos waste in domestic garbage bins
  • Re-use or recycle asbestos products
  • Dump asbestos products 
  • Use power tools that make asbestos fibers airborne
  • Water blast asbestos cement sheets 

All asbestos must be legally disposed of at a lawful landfill site. 

Which State Agencies Set Asbestos Laws?

Two Federal government agencies make and enforce asbestos regulations:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 

Environmental Protection Laws on Asbestos Disposal

EPA gives information to the public about asbestos. It sets rules for asbestos products and the removal of asbestos. It also approves courses and training models to license asbestos experts. EPA applies the asbestos laws in each state through its own officers there. 

You can get more information on EPA’s laws here.

OSHA rules on Asbestos

OSHA sets rules for handling and removal of asbestos in different workplaces. Currently, 28 states have their own rules with approval from OSHA. Federal OSHA regulations apply to all of the United States. But some states like California have rules that are stricter than the Federal regulations.

OSHA regulations are established by three Regulatory Acts:

OSHA’s Construction Standards for construction activity
OSHA’s General Industry Standards for most workplaces
OSHA’s Maritime Occupations, including Shipyard Workers

You can get more information on OSHA’s rules here.

Other Laws That Apply to Asbestos Removal and Disposal

Besides EPA and OSHA, the following federal laws apply to asbestos disposal:

Clean Air Act of 1970 

This act has called asbestos a hazardous air pollutant.
Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 

The EPA has powers to implement the rules of this Act related to asbestos.
Asbestos National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants

This tells you how to handle and dispose of asbestos materials when you break down a building and rebuild it.
Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986 
Asbestos School Hazard Abatement Reauthorization Act
These acts set rules for keeping schools safe from asbestos for students.

What Steps Should You Take While Disposing Of Asbestos?

Since asbestos is harmful when disturbed, every step of disposal is very important. 

Asbestos Fibers Are Hazardous and Asbestos Disposal Can Be Dangerous

Packaging that will prevent the release of fibers should hold the transported waste. Good packaging should prevent contamination of containers. It should prevent release of fibers. Ordinary crushers will damage packages and allow asbestos fibers to escape. 

You cannot destroy asbestos by burning it. You also cannot treat it with chemicals. You can only bury asbestos underground in an asbestos disposal site. You have to choose a site that satisfies both federal and state laws. You can choose from over 1,250 asbestos disposal sites in the United States. There is a complete list of approved asbestos landfill sites here.

The disposal site should keep asbestos waste material below the ground. It should not allow asbestos fibers to escape. It should not infect the air or water supply nearby.

Asbestos Buried in Soil Can Present a Danger

New Information On Asbestos Buried In Soil

The current method of asbestos disposal in an approved asbestos disposal site is supposed to be the best.

This is because asbestos fibers will not escape from the soil. However, according to new research, the disposal method is not good for people’s safety. This is because asbestos buried in soil can escape to surrounding areas underground. 

The asbestos reaches ground water and drinking water sources. Thus, the asbestos can infect the water making it risky for people’s health. Research has found 51 active Superfund sites that contain asbestos waste. These can infect water found underground.

Therefore, the government will need to consider different asbestos disposal methods.

It is clear that asbestos is dangerous when it is disturbed. You can suffer serious health conditions, including asbestosis and mesothelioma, a deadly form of lung cancer. The trouble with asbestos illnesses is that symptoms do not appear immediately. It may take a long time, sometimes up to twenty years before you detect the cancer. Therefore, you should not take the chance of burying asbestos yourself. You should ask a qualified and trained expert to dispose of the asbestos.