Tallahassee, FL – The recent cold weather across the southeast United States has officials worrying about the health of squatters who may expose themselves to asbestos in efforts to keep warm. Homeless individuals trying to avoid freezing temperatures have begun breaking into abandon and condemned buildings to take shelter for the winter months.
Some of these buildings contain the toxic mineral asbestos and squatters are unintentionally exposing themselves to deadly fibers that could cause disease like Asbestosis and Mesothelioma. Not all abandon buildings contain asbestos, however many older buildings that are now condemned could house the mineral asbestos.
Already this year, one asbestos containing abandon house in Albany, Georgia was unintentionally set on fire by squatters trying to stay warm. It was reported that at least four homeless people where living in the home and more were living in a crawlspace beneath the building. This fire released the deadly mineral into the surrounding atmosphere and could result in later respiratory problems for the squatters, rescue workers, and surrounding neighbors.
Officials are asking residence living near abandon buildings to help stop squatters this year by reporting to Code Enforcement, the Fire Department, or local Police if anyone is seen entering a vacant property. By working together, officials and neighborhood watch teams can help keep squatters safe from asbestos this winter.