The Nest

NestApple's Real Estate Blog

Featuring real estate articles and information to help real estate buyers and sellers. The Nest features writings from Georges Benoliel and other real estate professionals. Georges is the Co-Founder of NestApple and has been working as an active real estate investor for over a decade.

Everything You Need to Know About Asbestos in NYC Apartments

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Asbestos has a long history in building materials and products throughout New York. It took some time before people realized that asbestos is a health hazard and that long-term exposure can cause mesothelioma cancer or asbestosis – a chronic lung disease. These forms of illness take years to develop, so workers whose jobs involve constant exposure to asbestos are the most at risk. However, it’s still good to know about asbestos in NYC apartments. And apartments because exposure is possible, and you must avoid it at all costs.

History of Asbestos in New York

Because of New York’s long manufacturing and industrial jobs history, many asbestos-related illnesses are contracted here. It was an NYCAsbestos in NYC Apartments manufacturing company that first popularized using asbestos in construction materials back in 1958. Many buildings throughout New York are known to have contained asbestos or still do.

The list includes construction sites such as the Empire State Building, JFK Airport, Brooklyn Navy Yard, and more.

Many jobs in New York still involve using asbestos products or exposure in some capacity. Examples remain construction workers, shipyard workers, HVAC workers, automotive and aircraft mechanics, first responders, and more.

Asbestos exposure can also occur from contamination, such as debris from natural disasters or a family member unknowingly bringing it home.

How Do I Know if My Apartment Has Asbestos?

If you haven’t moved into your New York home or apartment yet, having a professional asbestos inspector come out to test is a good idea.

Unfortunately, a regular home inspection often does not include asbestos testing. Also, landlords are not obligated to disclose the presence of asbestos to tenants. If you can’t afford to hire a professional, they sell home testing kits that you can do yourself.

Asbestos can live in popcorn ceilings, wall and attic insulation, roofing, and vinyl tiles, among other things.

Most homes and apartment buildings built before the 1980s will contain some form of asbestos. Exposure will only occur if you are to do any remodeling on or around areas that contain asbestos. So if you plan to do construction, or if there is already fallen debris in those areas, you need to be highly cautious and consult a professional.

Again, it’s unlikely to contract an asbestos-related illness unless you got repeatedly exposed for decades.

However, it’s still helpful to know what the symptoms are. A chronic dry cough, chest pain, and trouble breathing are signs that could point to an asbestos illness. You should talk to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

What Should I Do if My Home or Apartment Has Asbestos?

Do not touch your apartment if you believe there is asbestos.

Many homes contain asbestos products or building materials somewhere. However, as long as they are left alone, you will be safe. If you suspect your apartment has dangerous levels of asbestos, talk to your landlord, and they must keep you safe from harm. This increases health risks and asbestos-related diseases.

And if you do plan to access an asbestos-contaminated area for any remodel or construction, always consult with a professional first. 

To reiterate, you would need repeated exposure for an extended period to develop any asbestos-related illnesses. However, many buildings and job sites in New York still contain asbestos. Therefore,  having long-term asbestos exposure in New York is certainly not unheard of.

If you experience any symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible. And if you got diagnosed with an illness from asbestos exposure, contact a New York asbestos lawyer for help.

Written By: Georges Benoliel

Georges has been working in Wall Street for the last 16 years trading derivatives with hedge funds. He has been an active real estate investor for over a decade. Georges graduated from HEC Business School in Paris and holds a master in Finance from ESADE Barcelona.

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