Property owners across North Carolina should understand that they have an obligation to maintain safe and hazard-free premises. This includes addressing and removing asbestos if it poses a threat to people on the property.
However, asbestos is not always as easy to identify as a slippery walkway or poorly-lit hallway. Unless you know what you’re looking for, you may be ignoring a serious problem that can have severe consequences.
It can be very difficult to actually see asbestos. In some cases, as this article notes, asbestos can look like fluffy insulation. It can also look like a ball of lint or popcorn, like in certain ceilings.
But in many cases, asbestos can be all but impossible to identify. There are six different types of asbestos minerals that come in different forms, ranging in color and shape. Additionally, asbestos fibers are typically combined with other materials like cement or adhesives and therefore typically cannot be seen with the naked eye.
This is why it can be crucial for property owners to call in professionals when it comes to testing for asbestos. Looking around a property typically won’t be very helpful in terms of assessing the risks of asbestos exposure; certified abatement workers should have the tools and experience to properly test materials and properties for the presence of asbestos.
Property owners who don’t take the appropriate steps to test for asbestos, assess the potential risks and take steps to remove or cover it can be putting the lives and health of other people in danger. Tenants, residents and visitors of a property should be able to expect that these precautions have been taken. If and when they are not, it can be crucial for victims of asbestos-related illnesses to explore their options to pursue a premises liability claim.