Date of Award


Document Type



Health Studies

First Advisor

Margarette Leite


Asbestos abatement -- Oregon -- Portland, Asbestos abatement industry -- Oregon -- Portland, Construction and demolition debris -- Safety measures, Asbestos in building -- Safety measures




This paper examines the effectiveness of the abatement process on homes in Portland, Oregon through the analysis of asbestos surveys conducted by The City of Portland. It evaluates the levels of hazardous materials that are left in homes after the abatement process which can be disbursed into the air and soil during demolition and thus create significant health hazards for demolition crews and surrounding residents.

The research methods employed for this paper include the analysis of asbestos surveys on homes provided by The Rebuilding Center of Portland (The Rebuilding Center) to see what materials contained asbestos. The surveys were used to compile data on the number of homes deconstructed that were found to have additional asbestos after abatement. This data was examined for trends.

The results show that 52% of homes examined by The Rebuilding Center had additional asbestos found after abatement. This was commonly found in materials like flooring and vinyl tiles which can be hard to find during surveys if they are hidden underneath other materials such as carpet.

Both material surveys and abatement procedures are required for all homes that are to be demolished in Portland, but many hazardous materials remain after this process, making demolition unsafe. This paper contends that deconstruction is a much safer alternative since no debris is created and hazardous materials can be disposed of properly when found. These findings contributed to new regulations in Portland, Oregon that require deconstruction rather than demolition for homes built before the year 1916.


An undergraduate honors thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Science in University Honors and Health Studies

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