You Never Know Where You Will Find Asbestos on Your Property

pile of old building materials

Most homeowners or renters do not wake up to the alarming situation that confronted a New York resident last year. Sometime after his family moved into a Long Island rental home last May, Andrew Sirico — the father of three children — found something quite troublesome in his backyard. Four trailers filled with construction debris, including asbestos that apparently had been stored there for years.

This is one place that most anyone would not expect to find asbestos, a fire-retardant material commonly used in the construction of homes and buildings. This dangerous mineral when inhaled also causes mesothelioma, a type of cancer that most often proves fatal.

Improper storage

In the New York matter, this obviously is a case of improper and illegal storage of asbestos. Records found with the waste revealed that the asbestos came from Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) construction sites throughout New York City in 2016.

The property owner’s attorney said that only two of the four trailers contained asbestos. When last reported, state officials were investigating whether any violations occurred. The property owner was cooperating with regulators.

Hire a professional for removal

The average person should not attempt to handle, remove or move asbestos. This is when you need a licensed professional to inspect your home, assess the situation and take action. These professionals understand the federal and state guidelines related to the removal and disposal of asbestos. If you attempt to do the job yourself, not only are you putting your health at risk, but you also could face hefty fines and penalties.

Asbestos-containing materials must be wetted down prior to removal. This prevents dust from accumulating. Otherwise, people could inhale the floating fibers, potentially leading to mesothelioma.

It is good to know that Sirico – the New York resident – did take precautions. The trailers in his backyard were not secured, so he placed locks on them to ensure his children could not enter, preventing any exploration that could lead to drastic health consequences.