Residents of a small town in Colorado were recently shocked after it was discovered that there was a major asbestos spill in an apartment building. The building was the Driftwood Apartments located on North Avenue and 28 Road.
The asbestos spill had been occuring in the common area of the apartment for a whole two days before an anonymous resident complained about it. The anonymous resident noted that the rehab project currently going on in the building was not being properly handles, and that there was no sampling or testing the materials for asbestos.
Asbestos is a dangerous mineral that was used commonly in the construction of buildings before the 1980’s. Due to its heat-resistance and structural reliability, asbestos was used in many different parts of buildings for many different reasons. Some of the most common building parts that contain asbestos are roof shingles and siding, vermiculite insulation, ceiling tiles, popcorn ceilings, drywall and cement sheets, plaster, putty, caulking, electrical switchboard panels, plumbing fixtures, pip and ducts coverings, thermal boilers and fireplaces, and vinyl floor tiles.
When any kind of building or renovation project is going on in a building built before 1980, like the renovation in the Driftwood Apartments, there is a risk that asbestos can be exposed. When asbestos is disturbed through renovation, it can go airborne, and the fibers can easily be breathed in and cause a multitude of health problems.
“Any time you disturb a building material that is not one of those you potentially could be impacting asbestos,” said environmental protection specialist Jeff Wolfe. After it was revealed that there was in fact asbestos, Wolfe stated that, “realistically, anyone who was in the building could have been exposed.”
Although many residents of the building were most likely exposed to asbestos, they have now all been evacuated and a clean up crew has begun an asbestos abatement.