if the siding is painted you are safe. as it is the air born particles that are harmful. i work in this feild and have been approched by osha for improper removal of said siding. i know from experince not to remove becase of all the health ricks and red tape . now from advice from osha i have learned to go over with a residing board , such as dow insulation (ridgid) 1/2 inch is fine, this traps the particals and levels your walls. then reside with your choice of siding material.