Link back to Home.
Home  |   Air  |   Water  |   Land  |   Permits  |   Online Services   |   Contact Us  |  State Parks

Main content begins below.

Helpful Links

  Lead Hazard Program
  Asbestos (under development)
  PCBs (under development)

The Toxic Substances Program (TSP) works under state and federal statutes and regulations to protect the people of Tennessee from environmental and health hazards caused by three toxic substances, lead, asbestos, and polychlorinated by-phenyls, known as PCBs.  These regulatory tools provide the foundation of the programs described below.

Lead Hazard Program:  Lead is a toxic metal that was used for many years in products found in and around our homes. Although lead-based paint was banned for use in residential structures in 1978, deterioration of old buildings, remodeling and renovation of older houses, and lead in dust and soil result in a continuing health threat — especially for young children.  TSP administers the following programs to reduce the risk of lead exposure.

  • Lead-based paint certification program: TSP outlines procedures and requirements for accreditation of training programs, certification of professionals, and work practice standards for conducting lead-based paint abatement activities. 
  • Lead-based paint abatement and control projects: TSP monitors contractors and workers conducting lead abatement and control projects.  Lead workers in Tennessee must satisfy specific criteria for licensure and training and take a Tennessee State Exam.  The purpose is to ensure that individuals are properly trained and use reliable, effective and safe work practice standards.
  • EBLL Investigations:  TSP collaborates with the Tennessee Department of Health to identify children with elevated blood-lead levels (EBLL’s) and to assist the families as to the actions they can take to reduce the child’s risk. 

Asbestos Program:

  • The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), a federal statute was enacted in 1986, requires local education agencies (LEAs) to inspect their schools for asbestos-containing building material and prepare management plans to prevent or reduce asbestos hazards. Rules implementing AHERA are found are published in the Code of Federal Regulations, 40 CFR 763, Subpart E. TSP, through a cooperative agreement with EPA Region 4, conducts compliance monitoring inspections at LEAs throughout the state. Inspections include a review of the Asbestos Management Plans and an inspection of the school. TSP also conducts inspections at schools where asbestos removal projects are underway.
  • Model Asbestos Accreditation Program (MAP):  TSP is in the process of developing and implementing regulations for an asbestos accreditation program for training providers and their courses, firms and asbestos professionals. 


  • PCBs are long lasting, synthetic compounds that were used in electrical insulting oils as a fire retardant, in paint and adhesives as an elasticizer, in insulation and caulks, and for other uses. Although generation of PCBs and new uses have been prohibited since 1979 by Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) regulations, 40 CFR 761, PCBs are still in use in older electrical equipment such as transformers and capacitors. Through a cooperative agreement with EPA Region 4, TSP conducts PCB Compliance Inspections to monitor use, storage, disposal, and management of PCBs by electrical utility companies, industries, scrap metal facilities, and other businesses.