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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    2

    asbestos exposure

    Massachusetts
    Hello,
    now there is a renovation process in the building where I rent an apartment. They made big holes in the walls in the corridor. For more than two weeks I have been found a lot of dust in my apartment (due to the significant airflow from the corridor due to the crevices around the doorframe and windowframe in my apartment). Sometimes they started repair work before I went to a job so just during short time of they work I was seen the emerging of the dust in my apartment and inhaling it a lot. The building was built more than 100 years ago so I supposed asbestos exposure. I asked by email property managers about the disclosure of the information related to asbestos content and they answered few days after that here is no asbestos but they didn't show me any documents and after that I noticed that they at least covered holes in the walls with polyethylene. Being concerned because the building is old I took the sample of the cement (before they covered it) from one of the big holes in the walls in the corridor and looked under the microscope (I work in the lab). It is old cement containing horsehairs as well as a lot of fibers which look absolutely like asbestos (but I have not ordered an official asbestos test, it was light microscopy). Is there sense to order asbestos test and if it is positive try to terminate the lease without fee?
    Could I told to the property manager that I looked under the microscope on the sample of the cement (I mean could there be any possible problems because I took sample from the property without permission (even though it was absolutely easy to take without any damage)? What else can I do? The problem is that every day I get new dust in my apartment and it seems that it contains asbestos. I would be very grateful for any information.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michigan
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    29,262
    Quote Originally Posted by Maria55 View Post
    Massachusetts
    Hello,
    now there is a renovation process in the building where I rent an apartment. They made big holes in the walls in the corridor. For more than two weeks I have been found a lot of dust in my apartment (due to the significant airflow from the corridor due to the crevices around the doorframe and windowframe in my apartment). Sometimes they started repair work before I went to a job so just during short time of they work I was seen the emerging of the dust in my apartment and inhaling it a lot. The building was built more than 100 years ago so I supposed asbestos exposure. I asked by email property managers about the disclosure of the information related to asbestos content and they answered few days after that here is no asbestos but they didn't show me any documents and after that I noticed that they at least covered holes in the walls with polyethylene. Being concerned because the building is old I took the sample of the cement (before they covered it) from one of the big holes in the walls in the corridor and looked under the microscope (I work in the lab). It is old cement containing horsehairs as well as a lot of fibers which look absolutely like asbestos (but I have not ordered an official asbestos test, it was light microscopy). Is there sense to order asbestos test and if it is positive try to terminate the lease without fee?
    Could I told to the property manager that I looked under the microscope on the sample of the cement (I mean could there be any possible problems because I took sample from the property without permission (even though it was absolutely easy to take without any damage)? What else can I do? The problem is that every day I get new dust in my apartment and it seems that it contains asbestos. I would be very grateful for any information.
    If you believe there is asbestos in the building, sure. It is smart to have it tested.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    in the ether
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    41,184
    Peruse this website;

    https://www.mass.gov/guides/massdep-asbestos-construction-demolition-notifications

    In any state Iíve worked if there is a possibility there could be asbestos it was required by the powers that be to have any materials tested where asbestos is suspected Where if disturbed it could produce friable fibers.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michigan
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    29,262
    Quote Originally Posted by justalayman View Post
    Peruse this website;

    https://www.mass.gov/guides/massdep-asbestos-construction-demolition-notifications

    In any state Iíve worked if there is a possibility there could be asbestos it was required by the powers that be to have any materials tested where asbestos is suspected Where if disturbed it could produce friable fibers.
    I imagine the building owner tested for asbestos prior to renovation, as he claims to have done.

    Any dust from renovations can be hazardous to breathe in so wearing face masks when around the dust is smart (as would be shutting vents).


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by quincy View Post
    I imagine the building owner tested for asbestos prior to renovation, as he claims to have done.

    Any dust from renovations can be hazardous to breathe in so wearing face masks when around the dust is smart (as would be shutting vents).
    If so then there would be record of the tests and results and op as a resident most likely would have access to the info. Without knowing what all is being worked on itís impossible to say but there are likely multiple materials with asbestos in them in a 100 year old building. This is one of thise things that it is better to err on the side of caution.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michigan
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    29,262
    Quote Originally Posted by justalayman View Post
    If so then there would be record of the tests and results and op as a resident most likely would have access to the info. Without knowing what all is being worked on itís impossible to say but there are likely multiple materials with asbestos in them in a 100 year old building. This is one of thise things that it is better to err on the side of caution.
    I agree. And I think an independent test of the material is smart. But it would be foolhardy of the building owner not to have already tested.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    2

    asbestos exposure

    Hello,
    Thanks everybody for the responds.
    Today I got the result of testing for the asbestos: 2% Chrysotile asbestos. The question is the same: do I have a right to terminate the lease without any fees and move out as quick as I can? Is there sense directly told to the property manager that there is asbestos contamination (it seems that they are irresponsible)? Which else actions can I take? They are proceeding with renovation and I still have excessive amount of asbestos containing dust.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    29,262
    Quote Originally Posted by Maria55 View Post
    Hello,
    Thanks everybody for the responds.
    Today I got the result of testing for the asbestos: 2% Chrysotile asbestos. The question is the same: do I have a right to terminate the lease without any fees and move out as quick as I can? Is there sense directly told to the property manager that there is asbestos contamination (it seems that they are irresponsible)? Which else actions can I take? They are proceeding with renovation and I still have excessive amount of asbestos containing dust.
    If your rental unit does not meet the minimum standards of fitness for human habitation (105 CMR 410.000), you have reason to terminate your lease.

    https://www.mass.gov/courts/docs/law.../105cmr410.pdf

    If your landlord decides to enforce the terms of your lease, demanding payment for the months remaining on your lease, you will need to support your contention that the rental fails to meet minimum standards for habitation. You will want to notify your landlord in writing of the asbestos test results that you ordered (and provide him with a copy) and you will want to have an inspection report from your town or city's Board of Health, as well.

    Good luck.


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