The dangers of asbestos are often lurking in areas all over buildings and homes constructed before the 1980s, when asbestos was used in everything from roofing to insulation to floor tiles. Many of these areas of a home go untouched for years, leaving the asbestos intact and relatively harmless. But all it takes is one project to stir up the toxic substance, releasing it into the air where it poses a serious threat to people’s health.
We would expect that construction companies and builders would be aware of the risks associated with asbestos and take the necessary precautions to identify and remove asbestos safely when it is discovered. Unfortunately, that does not always happen and a homeowner or other building occupant suffers the tragic consequences of developing an asbestos-related illness.
This is the very real fear that one man has after a home project left his house uninhabitable after he voiced concerns over some suspicious debris inside of his heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. A construction company had been working on his home to soundproof it. They had been contracted by the Department of Transportation to complete the work because they man’s house was in close proximity to an airport.
When the work was nearly finished, the man noticed that there was a lot of dust that had been left behind by the workers. He requested that testing be done to determine if the dust presented a health hazard. It turns out that the man’s home was referred to as a “hotspot” for asbestos during an inspection earlier this year, so it is likely that the testing will come back positive for the toxic fiber.
There is a very serious concern that others in the area who are having or have had the same work done are also at risk of having been exposed to asbestos.
One of the main issues here is why the construction company failed to note the presence of asbestos. It was clear from the inspection that asbestos was present in the home, but still the work continued on and little or no effort was made to protect the man who would be living in an unsafe home had he not spoken up.
Source: KTUU, “Asbestos and Lead Push Residents Out of Home,” Garrett Turner, Sept. 21, 2013