When spring cleaning, take extra precautions with asbestos

This time of year, homeowners all across North Carolina will be doing some spring cleaning. Whether the plan is to do some light yard work or some more extensive renovations in the home, it is crucial for property owners to take very seriously the dangers of asbestos.

In an article we wrote titled “Helpful tips for North Carolina homeowners concerned about asbestos,” we discussed how homeowners should properly deal with asbestos. It must be handled safely because of how toxic exposure to it can be. In this post, we will look at what can happen when and if someone fails to protect or remove asbestos in accordance with safety regulations.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission states that asbestos can be left alone only if the material is in good condition. If it is disturbed or could be released into the air, however, it should be removed. Property owners are expected to have certified workers trained in asbestos handling procedures remove the material and dispose of it.

If a property owner doesn’t properly address asbestos, he or she can be held liable for any damages that result from negligent exposure. This means that if a property owner knows about potentially dangerous asbestos and doesn’t remove it, doesn’t disclose information about the asbestos to tenants, or doesn’t hire appropriately certified removal workers, that property owner could face a premises liability lawsuit.

People who enter a home or building have a reasonable expectation that the premises are safe. If a building or home is unsafe, for example if asbestos is friable and can be breathed in, property owners can face legal and financial penalties for negligence. In some situations, these cases result in multi-million dollar settlements for victims of asbestos-related illnesses developed as a result of negligent asbestos handling and removal practices.