Asbestos exposure will make you sick. Prolonged exposure will kill you. It’s no joke. Consider the rapid and permanent evacuation of Denver’s Overlook apartments. When asbestos was discovered to have been used in the apartments’ construction, officials and the complex owners considered the health risk so grave that they evacuated the property immediately and permanently. They even disposed of all soft goods that tenants left behind, like clothes and bedding and stuffed animals, treating the contents of the apartments like hazardous waste. No kidding.
Obviously, you’re concerned about health risks to your family from asbestos. Consider also the incredible legal liability and potential financial burden of exposing employees and customers (or tenants) asbestos, which health and medical organizations classify as a toxic substance that causes lethal cancers. And civil legal problems could just be the start. Criminal penalties are also possible.
As a result of the body of research that clearly shows asbestos to be highly hazardous to humans, there are myriad laws, rules and regulations governing its handling and disposal. Ignoring asbestos risks, failing to protect workers from asbestos hazards and improper asbestos handling or disposal can result in costly fines and potential lawsuits.
Bans on numerous uses of asbestos in construction began rolling out in 1973. They rolled out in phases and, by 1990, comprehensive regulations were in place. So if you own a building constructed before 1990, it’s possible that asbestos was used in its construction. If you own a building that was constructed before 1973, it’s likely that asbestos was used in its construction. A previous owner may have removed and mitigated asbestos. But when you consider the steep risks, do you want to bet on it? Me, neither.
If you know or suspect that asbestos was used in the construction of your property, have your property tested and abated by a qualified expert. Consider it an insurance policy against a deadly hazard to your family and business.