Virginia Beach -- A Virginia Beach man says he's locked out of his apartment because it's contaminated with asbestos and so are his belongings.
Carlie Brand claims the landlord of the Cape Henry Towers condo he rents is not doing enough to fix the situation.
According to the EPA, asbestos is a mineral fiber used in building construction and when disturbed and the fibers are inhaled, it can produce some very serious health problems.
Brand says he and his family have been exposed to asbestos and they're not getting any help. It all started when his landlord hired a plumber to fix a leak in the condo in late January.
"When he cut holes into the ceiling--and the walls, he exposed everybody to asbestos dust and the entire contents of the apartment," explains Brand.
Brand says he knows there is asbestos because he hired Applied Laboratory Services in Norfolk to test his unit. A report signed by project manager, Patrick Fitzpatrick indicated asbestos was identified in the "textured plaster ceiling material in the entrance foyer hallway area." He adds that "asbestos containing dust and particulate was dispersed into the adjacent living areas and that it is likely the entire unit is contaminated."
Fitzpatrick recommends that no person enter or reside in the unit until remediation and decontamination activities have been done.
"I just want someone to step up and say we messed up but we're going to make it right," said Brand who wants the landlord to decontaminate the apartment and his belongings.
In the meantime, he and his family have moved into another Beach home about two miles from Cape Henry Towers on Shore Drive. The house sits empty because Brand's belongings are still in his apartment.
Landlord Terri Hewitt had little comment about the situation but says all regulations and laws are being followed in reaching a solution to the problem. Representatives at Cape Henry Towers say the same thing. One employee says the complex has also done testing that showed the apartment is safe to occupy.
Still, Brand has hired lawyer Wayne Holcomb from Poquoson. He says his hope the situation can be rectified without having to take legal action.
"He and his family were exposed at least for part of a day and part of the next day to asbestos. We've known for the last three decades or so to be completely fatal," says Holcomb.