In the United States, asbestos removal must be completed by an EPA licensed asbestos abatement contractor.
Depending on how and where asbestos was applied, it might not pose any risk to most users of the building. If the fibers cannot become dislodged, they cannot be inhaled, and thus the asbestos poses no risk. However, some methods of applying asbestos, particularly flocking, allow asbestos fibers to gradually drop off into the air.
When asbestos fibers can easily be made into airborne dust, the material is known as "friable". For example, a popcorn ceiling is extremely friable, whereas asbestos floor tile is considered non-friable. Friable materials, such as popcorn ceiling tiles, have a lifespan between 20 - 40 years plus; whereas non-friable materials, such as asbestos roofing tiles, have a lifespan of 50 - 100 years and beyond.