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Renovations caused asbestos exposure for residents, workers

Having a safe place to live is important for the health and safety of all South Carolina residents. No one really wants to face ongoing health threats at home. Unseen dangers can be anywhere, though. For some people, a particularly troublesome unseen danger is asbestos exposure, which can cause life-threatening illnesses.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently cited a property management company for seriously mishandling asbestos during apartment renovations. According to OSHA, asbestos was frequently disturbed and released into the air at this out-of-state apartment complex. However, these violations are all related to employee safety and improper containment, as the men and women working at the complex were not told about the presence of asbestos or given any protective gear. The citations do not refer to the apartment residents, who were also unknowingly exposed.

Residents were not told that they would have to leave during renovations, even when work went on in their units. According to one former resident, workers entered her apartment and performed work on all of her windows but did not clean anything up afterward. She apparently had to clean up all of the material that had been ripped out or discarded, most of which likely contained asbestos. All residents have since been evacuated from the property.

There has to be a certain level of trust between tenants and landlords. Renters have to trust that the properties they live in are safe, but landlords sometimes break that trust in favor of minimizing their own costs. There can be serious consequences when this blatant disregard for safety results in asbestos exposure. If renters in South Carolina discover that they have been wrongfully exposed to asbestos, it is a good idea to maintain careful records of known exposures as well as related medical information. An experienced attorney might be able to provide further advice on which information to keep track of.

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