If you are the owner of a building where asbestos materials or materials you suspect may contain asbestos, are present, it is your responsibility to inform potentially affected parties. This duty to inform can include several types of people. As a building owner, you should inform any company that is planning construction, repair, or renovation work in your building of the possible presence of asbestos-containing materials (ACM). This is necessary to prevent the accidental disturbance of asbestos that could expose workers or building occupants. You must also inform any of your employees who will be working in areas that are near asbestos-containing materials or suspected asbestos-containing materials… Finally, if you are the owner of a residential building, you must inform any prospective tenants who might occupy areas near or around known or suspected asbestos materials.
Lead is also a very dangerous material. Lead exposure also called lead poisoning, occurs when lead builds up in the body, generally over months or years. The most common causes of lead exposure include lead paint or lead dust in buildings and lead-contaminated soil, water, or air. Lead exposure is a serious condition that affects almost all body systems. At high levels, it can cause convulsions, coma, and even death. In lower levels, it adversely affects the kidneys, brain, central nervous system, and blood cells. The biggest cause of lead exposure in the U.S. today is lead paint. Lead paint that is in good condition does not pose a risk, but if it is damaged or begins to chip, peel, or otherwise deteriorate, individuals who are working or living near it may be dangerously exposed to lead. Therefore, it is important that these individuals know of the potential dangers of lead so that they can take appropriate caution around paint that could contain lead.
If your building was built after 1978, it most likely does not contain lead. However, this is not always the case. Buildings constructed after 1978 could have been painted with older products that contained lead. If your building was built before 1978, it is likely that it contains lead paint. Although you are not obligated to have the building inspected or to test for lead, you are obligated to inform potential tenants that lead paint may exist in the building. If you know of the existence of lead paint in your building, you must provide occupants with educational materials about the hazards of lead. Regulations can vary, so you should check with your local regulatory agency to find out what responsibilities you have as a building owner to inform occupants and tenants of lead.