While living in an older building can be charming, there are often hidden dangers that could cause severe injury, illness, and chronic conditions. From deteriorating infrastructure to lead paint, older homes and apartments are full of potential health hazards that property owners may not take note of during inspections.
The best way to avoid and reduce these potential hazards is to become aware of their sources. This list breaks down three potential dangers lurking within older homes.
Outdated Electrical Wiring
Wiring techniques have been vastly improved to maximize both efficiency and safety. Within older homes, however, obsolete wiring could increase the risk of fires. According to a report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), “for the past ten years, electrical wiring systems have been the leading cause of fire deaths involving electrical equipment, claiming an average of nearly 350 lives each year.” Issues with electrical wiring each year cause over 40 thousand fires.
According to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), “lead is a highly toxic metal that may cause a range of health problems, especially in young children. When lead is absorbed into the body, it can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs.” It can also cause “behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures, and in extreme cases, death.” Before 1978, the use of lead paint in homes and apartments was not regulated by the federal government. This means that families living in older homes are especially vulnerable to potential lead poisoning.
Before the federal government banned the use of asbestos, it was widely used as a construction material for office buildings, train stations, apartments, homes, and more. However, asbestos has been flagged by numerous health organizations, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for being a cancer-causing substance that can lead to long-term, life-threatening illness. The use of asbestos in homes wasn’t banned until the 1970s. However, any asbestos present within homes built before the ban was allowed to remain. Older homes are particularly susceptible to having asbestos in their construction.
Contact a New York Premises Liability Lawyer
Property owners are responsible for ensuring the safety of their guests. If you or a loved one has experienced illness, injury, or death due to a negligent property owner, you may be entitled to pursue legal action. At Hach & Rose, LLP, our knowledgeable team of attorneys will fight for the financial compensation you and your loved ones deserve.
When the mineral asbestos was used in the 19th century, it was lauded as one of the most versatile and cost-effective construction materials on the market. It was cheap, fire-resistant, acid-resistant, insulating, and more.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), asbestos is also linked to causing various forms of life-threatening illnesses, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.
It wasn’t until the late 1960s and early 1970’s that federal agencies began to regulate its production and usage. By that time, however, asbestos was already so deeply integrated within city and neighborhood infrastructure that it was impossible to completely remove it. As a result, the infrastructure of many cities all across the country still contain the cancer-causing material, where thousands of people are being unknowingly exposed on a daily basis.
Additionally, asbestos is still used in some current-day construction materials. If proper engineering procedures are not followed due to a contractor’s negligence, exposure to this dangerous mineral is a real risk. According to the New York State Department of Labor (Industrial Code Rule 56), regulations on asbestos are meant to protect the public from exposure.
Even in cases where proper engineering has been practiced, the break-down or demolition of asbestos-containing structures can be hazardous for onsite workers and nearby communities. The microscopic, needle-sharp fibers of asbestos can lacerate human internal organs if ingested or inhaled, leading to life-long illnesses that are debilitating in nature.
To avoid accountability, many companies, manufacturers, and property-owners often turn a blind eye to public health concerns caused by asbestos exposure. In the state of New York, property owners and company officials have a responsibility to keep the public free and safe from the cancer-causing mineral.
According to the New York State Department of Labor, “There is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos. Any exposure can cause illness.”
Contact a New York Asbestos Attorney
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, Hach & Rose, LLP wants you to know that our experienced attorneys will take every action to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Our legal team has a long history of results in asbestos-related cases, earning our clients over $3 million in settlements.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our lawyers at Hach & Rose, LLP to discuss your rights and legal options. We’re here to support you, so call us at (212) 779-0057 or reach out to us online.