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Apartment residents evicted by asbestos

This news story comes from Denver, but it just as well could have occurred in a suburb of Los Angeles or virtually any town in California or the United States. Individuals who lived in an apartment received the shocking news in February that they had to be out of their apartments within hours of first receiving notice, and were told they would be unable to return for at least three weeks.

More recently, they were informed that their three-week vacation had just become permanent, and that they would never be permitted back into their apartments. The problem was of course, asbestos. It seems the building had been being renovated and at some point, the contractor disturbed some material they identified as asbestos.

For the residents, in addition the notice of eviction terminating their leases and their not being allowed to return their apartments, an additional concern was what would happen to their personal property. The notice informed them that "soft goods" such as clothing and upholstered furniture would be "thrown away."

We suspect the asbestos contamination may be more significant than the building management is indicating, and that any material that could absorb asbestos fibers must be removed and treated as potentially contaminated asbestos material.

Residents wonder what, if anything, they will get back, and the parents of one college student who lived in the building were worried that their son may have been exposed to asbestos.

If renovation work was being done without proper testing and precautions, wall covering, sound proofing spray, insulation wrapped pipes, ceiling and floor tiles could all have released asbestos fibers during demolition and removal.

This is an issue that will only become worse, as more older buildings need repairs and renovations, and more asbestos is set free to begin its deadly work.

Source:, "Asbestos permanently forces out residents, belongings contaminated," Lindsay Watts, March 9, 2014

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