Three years after launching the Healthy Buildings, Healthy Air Initiative, aimed at protecting people from the risks of asbestos exposure, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is releasing the results of her work.

The report highlights a three-pronged approach to combating the risks associated with asbestos, including advocating for strong federal protections, taking action against contractors and property owners who do not follow regulations for working safely with asbestos, and working with schools to identify where there is asbestos.

Healey is renewing calls to ban it at the federal level. Thirty years ago, the U.S. tried to banned asbestos at the federal level. But, within a few years, a federal appeals court struck down the ban. While the use of asbestos has decreased significantly, it continues to be legal to import and used asbestos.

The attorney general has also led a number of states in suing the Environmental Protection Agency. The lawsuit claims the EPA is not requiring the chemical industry to provide information that is necessary to regulate asbestos.

“We have seen our Environmental Protection Agency attempt to loosen some of the regulations around asbestos and we think that’s a really bad thing,” said Healey.

Locally, she’s stepped up enforcement efforts to combat illegal asbestos work during remodeling and demolition. Partnering with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the state’s Department of Labor Standards, Healey’s office has resolved 35 cases of illegal asbestos work.

Healey’s office has also put together the first public database of which public and private school buildings contain asbestos.

“We do have older homes here, older schools, older workplaces. And my office is concerned with house asbestos within those locations is handled,” said Healey.

Throughout the early and mid-1900s, asbestos was used widely in construction materials, including as an insulator, in roofing, and in glue-like flooring adhesives. The naturally occurring mineral has microscopic fibers that cause serious and deadly lung ailments.

The reduction is largely due to legal liabilities rather than regulations, said Daniel King, an expert at the Mesothelioma Center at

“There are only a few uses that are outright banned,” said King. “It’s still mixed into break pads for vehicles and machinery. Those things are not produced domestically, but they can be imported from oversees.”

Estimates suggest asbestos is responsible for 12,000 to 15,000 deaths nationwide each year.