I learned just recently about asbestos in condos I had few possible exposures:

  1. In old condo put 20 screws and nails into asbestos wall and took them out later, without cleaning the dust. What to do with carpet, bed, clothes, shoes, camping stuff...where it all might got? Keep or throw out? Do I need to wash every single clothes?

  2. In new condo around 3 tablespoons of dust/powder from possible asbestos drywall, popcorn ceiling, tiles  from old renovation was uncovered under new laminate floor and blew into whole aparment, carpet, furniture, blankets... What should I do with all the stuff? Keep or throw away? How to make sure the place is safe?

  3. I am worried that also there is still some asbestos dust left from the old renovation in hidden places, between baseboard heaters, in dust in popcorn ceiling,walls, closets... since the previous owner said they didnt test for asbestos before renovation (renovation was done 2 years ago, condo is from 1970)

  4. I am worried about constant exposure because of many renovations in the condo building in common areas, elevator, garbage chute...Also blowing it inside while the windows are open from renovation or if exterior of bulding is made of it and its windy...

  5. I am worried about exposure in common areas of the building in laundry room, garage... as I doubt its being monitored and I seen falling paint, missing vinil tile, broken pipe insulation...

Any advice appreciated! 

  • 4
    First, you should search this site and review the many, many other asbestos-related questions that have been asked and answered. Second, you should relax because most (maybe not all, but overwhelmingly most) asbestos related illness is related to chronic exposure over years and years, in an occupational exposure setting. Third, you should not make assumptions about whether materials are ACM and in a form that is hazardous (friable); you should get data. May 7, 2021 at 5:26
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    @JimmyFix-it is 100% correct. Short version: asbestos != ebola virus. May 7, 2021 at 5:56
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    If there is suspected asbestos in the building then you'll have to have it tested for. Nobody can tell just from looking or assuming that there's actually asbestos there. For professionally done work in common areas, abatement should be done - they'll seal off the area, double bag everything being taken out, hose off all the workers & tools each time they come out of the containment area, and have HEPA filtration that will remove it from the air. All these things may have been done before you moved in.
    – FreeMan
    May 7, 2021 at 11:51
  • 1
    Some additional reading.
    – FreeMan
    May 7, 2021 at 11:56
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    In addition to the excellent comment by @JimmyFix-it I would say the real concern here is the ongoing renovations in common areas (item #4). This is where you might get chronic exposure, assuming there is asbestos in these areas. That is where I'd be concerned.
    – tnknepp
    May 7, 2021 at 12:25

1 Answer 1


What's actually true is that workers in environments saturated with asbestos dust (i.e. asbestos factories and boiler construction), where they are huffing it into their lungs 8 hours a day, 250 days a year for 30 years... have a chance of developing a rare cancer. The fibers in their lungs and increase the chance of DNA replication errors taking hold (cancer).

Employees sued, and the manufacturers agreed with the government to create "Trust Funds" to pay out claims. Each trust fund will pay only claims related to that company, which makes applying for relief a little bit complicated. Just complicated enough to need to get a lawyer involved to build the case properly.

Contingency-fee lawyers charge 1/3 of the payout.

Getting the picture?

This has created a feeding frenzy of lawyers trying to find these victims so they can collect 1/3 payouts on these easy cases. On Google search advertising, mesothelioma has been the most valuable keyword in the industry for a decade. They also carpet-bomb TV and radio looking for these rare victims.

So actually, you are not comparing the actual toxicity of the various compounds in your home

  • Asbestos
  • Roundup
  • Sucralose
  • food oils over-heated in microwaves

You are only comparing their level of (adverse) advertising exposure.

Notice also how "novelty" figures into risk management. Because this asbestos encounter is "new to you", honestly, you'd do all sorts of extreme cleaning if we told you to, because it's interesting. Contrast that to your feelings toward COVID-19 protocols... you're fed up with masks and social distancing and want to stop ASAP. Even though COVID-19 is infinitely more dangerous.

The toxicity of asbestos in an occasional chance encounter like this, is nil. All you need to do is not be moronic; i.e. don't grind it up and snort it. Bonus points for using "wet" techniques for the clean-up. End of the day, don't worry about it.

  • 1
    Right, even the EU (which is otherwise very keen on regulating the hell out of anything) has just a relatively low-key set of requirements for situations like getting rid of a whole lot of asbestos-cement boards or so, but that's it. The whole asbestos paranoia seems to be a US-only thing.
    – TooTea
    May 7, 2021 at 18:51
  • @TooTea yeah, basically because of the trust fund. May 8, 2021 at 6:00
  • i.e, basically because of the lawyers... May 8, 2021 at 8:12
  • @Harper-ReinstateMonica I understand that people who were not working with it have much lover chance of getting sick, but still there are ppl 13, 26, 30 year old getting it, many teachers dying from it, ppl who dont know about any exposure getting sick from it, what do you think about those? So it feels like i want to do everything I can to avoid it if possible, but in these older buldings feels like its impossible. But if someone would tell me the exposure outside (from constructions) is the same as the possible small exposure inside from 20 holes, old renovation dust, ongoing renovations in
    – Mia
    May 8, 2021 at 17:49
  • @Harper-ReinstateMonica bulding, possible detoriation in common areas... I guess I would be calmer,but i feel like noone really knows too much about this. I just dont want to get higher exposure and higher chance of getting sick if I keep the clothes and furniture with possible asbestos, or stay living in this old bulding, but throwing everything out and moving to a new one would be very expensive and constant dust cleaning and washing things just makes my life very tiring and stresful. I mostly dont know how much asbestos could be left in things, furniture, clothes from those 20 holes and
    – Mia
    May 8, 2021 at 17:50

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