The owner of an apartment building is generally responsible for your welfare. The owner of your apartment needs to provide a home that is safe and will not harm your health. This includes ensuring there is no asbestos risks.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency explains asbestos is likely in older buildings, so your apartment may contain this substance, and it is not harmful as long as it is in good condition. Once it begins deteriorating is when health issues arise, and your apartment owner’s responsibility kicks in.
If your apartment walls, for example, contain asbestos, they should not pose any health risks to you as long as they are not crumbling or damaged. If there is damage, then you need to let your landlord know. The asbestos fibers in a damaged area will get into the air and you will breathe them in. This can lead to health problems in the future.
If you have damaged areas containing asbestos, the building owner must fix them. During the repairs, you may not be able to stay in your home. There are special processes for removing the substance from buildings that your landlord must follow. It is not as simple as tearing out walls or other areas that contain it.
During renovations, maintenance crews must follow federal regulations for safe removal and disposal of asbestos. National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants set the requirements. These include having licensed individuals who know how to properly remove asbestos on site during the removal and following specific decontamination processes.
It is your apartment owner’s responsibility to handle any asbestos risks in your building. You should contact health officials if you have concerns.