WEST LA (CBSLA) — Residents displaced when asbestos was reportedly found in their West LA apartments last week have been told they can return home.
But some residents told CBS2’s Jo Kwon that they don’t feel safe going back.
“I have not been provided any kind of documentation from anyone that this building is habitable,” says Deborah Favorite.
She says she got a text message from her landlord. A copy of the text was also posted in the lobby.
“My reaction to that letter is I haven’t seen any documentation to back it up,” says Favorite.
Just last week, tenants in the building (on Prosser Avenue) were evacuated after an air quality inspector found samples which were thought to contain asbestos. Test results came back positive.
The building was sealed off and signs were put up but within 48 hours, tenants said the yellow tape was removed and some residents moved back in.
“I feel a little bit funky here,” says resident Sheri Silvermel.
She says she only came back because she can’t afford a hotel.
“I don’t know if it’s safe to be here,” she said.
Silvermel worries about the plastic covering the floors and that one entire unit remains sealed off.
“How would you think that it’s safe?” she says.
The Property Management Company says a privately hired inspector found asbestos only in the sealed-off unit.
LA County Fire told Kwon that the private inspector took two samples from each unit — one near the door and one further inside.
Officials are continuing their investigation — including what happened to materials removed during recent renovations.
LA County Fire’s Health Hazmat division as well as air quality officials are doing a joint criminal investigation at how the bundled-up material was dumped and placed near a dumpster.
A resident who didn’t want to be identified also hired an inspector. The results? A sample of the popcorn ceiling contains 5 percent asbestos. Anything considered 0.1 percent is considered hazardous.
“I don’t think I should pay rent until it’s proven to me that it’s habitable,” said Favorite.
For now, she is staying with family and sleeping on a couch.