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Old 06-26-2009, 11:25 AM   #1
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asbestos emergency - please help!!


This is not really do it yourself, but I need help!!

I recently had my carpet removed because I didn't feel good with it. I am now living with the original hard wood floors which are great.

The entry way by the front door had the original linoleum from the 70's and the company that removed the carpet was 'sure' it had asbestos under it.

We decided to buy tile to put over it and went with the same company. The installer comes today and while I'm in the kitchen, I hear scrapping.. The installer has a big scrapper and he is TAKING UP THE LINOLEUM. I am not KIDDING.. He got a few squares up before we yelled at him. He had NO IDEA it was asbestos and didn't even seem to know what that word meant.

I need to know what to do.. They are still going to cover it up with tile, but is it in the air? What should I do?

I am scared? I've avoided that area all week since the carpet has been taken up.

Is it safe to be around here? Should I clean all the blankets on the couch? I don't know what to do?

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Old 06-26-2009, 12:43 PM   #2
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asbestos emergency - please help!!


First RELAX. Asbestos is bad for you over a long period of time. You need to educate yourself on asbestos, that is your first line of defence. That stuff is in the air and you and i breath it everytime we take a breath. That said you don't need to worry about what just happened. I would open the windows and let it air out and wipe down the area. Whats done is done. Asbestos work in the way of prolong (years and years) before it affects you. when you disturb asbestos and the dust gets into the air is when it is dangerous (once again years of breating for it to do its damage). Eventhough it take years to do its thing you still dont want it to breathing it in. There are many good referances you can find on the internet to educate you.

The guy who is taking up the tile needs to be educated also. Even if he doesnt care about his own health need needs to understand he is putting you safy on the line. I would just give the room a good air out and cover over it. If you need any more info just ask me

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Old 06-26-2009, 01:22 PM   #3
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Thank you, I feel much better.

I guess I was just shocked because the company that took out the carpet (same one that's putting in the tile) warned us about dusting or vaccuming over asbestos. He clearly stated that the company doesn't take up that type of floor.

We were also told if we hired perfessionals to get rid of the asbestos that it would be costly, they would come in in white jumpsuits and block off our living room area and bedrooms. Now, I understand that the jumpsuits are used becaused they are exposed to this stuff daily, but I was worried today because the worker did this and nothing was blocked off. lol

We thought nothing of it that this guy would come out today and lay the tile on it. I think he had it in his mind it was ok to take up. Because we said (after he started taking it up) that he was supposed to lay it ontop and he said 'yeah, but I'll just try to take it up." It's like he had no idea. Really weird.

But, thanks for your help
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:29 PM   #4
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asbestos emergency - please help!!


How are they sure that there is asbestos content without testing?
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Old 06-26-2009, 02:00 PM   #5
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Asbestos is bad for you over a long period of time..... That stuff is in the air and you and i breath it everytime we take a breath..... Asbestos work in the way of prolong (years and years) before it affects you...... (once again years of breating for it to do its damage)....
First. I agree that there is no need to panic. But your post implies that it takes years of exposure to cause a problem. That is not true. It does take years for asbestos problems to show up but the exposure certainly does not have to be for years. Lungs aren't very good at expelling asbestos so a one time exposure could cause a problem years down the road.(And there sure better not be asbestos in the air you breath every day. You must be thinking of something else.)


IrishGem, asbestos is encapsulated pretty good in sheet flooring and the the hand scraping probably didn't cause a problem as it is unlikely to create asbestos dust. Call the flooring company and ask them to explain why the floor was scraped up after they said they don't do that. Ask them to do an asbestos test on the flooring and anywhere that dust might have settled to see if they created a problem. There may very well be no asbestos in the flooring at all.
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Old 06-26-2009, 03:51 PM   #6
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asbestos emergency - please help!!


If there is asbestos, the people who disturbed it could be liable to abate it. I knew an installer who was fined $10,000 for sanding asbestos tile. And then he had to pay an asbestos abatement company to clean.
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Old 06-26-2009, 04:03 PM   #7
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asbestos emergency - please help!!


Quote:
HOLT: "If you need any more info just ask me"
That's pretty good coming from a guy that has no idea about a subject as serious as asbestos that he is dispensing advice about. I don't agree with you HOLT and neither does the government information about asbestos abatement. Those little white suits and HEPA Filters and plastic curtains and special handling of debris used by abatement companies are there for a reason.

Quote:
jogr: "First. I agree that there is no need to panic. But your post implies that it takes years of exposure to cause a problem. That is not true. It does take years for asbestos problems to show up but the exposure certainly does not have to be for years. Lungs aren't very good at expelling asbestos so a one time exposure could cause a problem years down the road.(And there sure better not be asbestos in the air you breath every day. You must be thinking of something else.)"
jogr is exactly correct.

NOW, asbestos fibers could be in all the interior fabrics as well as being disbursed by the heat and air system if it is a forced-air system.

THAT installer needs to be educated quickly before he seriously injures someone.


Quote:
rusty baker: "If there is asbestos, the people who disturbed it could be liable to abate it. I knew an installer who was fined $10,000 for sanding asbestos tile. And then he had to pay an asbestos abatement company to clean."

EXACTLY! Putting out that type of erroneous information to people that don't know the truth should be unlawful.

Asbestos fibers are similar to fish hooks and once they attach themselves to your lungs they don't go away.
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Old 06-26-2009, 07:13 PM   #8
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asbestos emergency - please help!!


Yeah, now I am confused... and pissed.. I thought maybe I was overreacting. I spent this entire week avoiding the area that had linoleum. I didn't vaccume around it, clean it, and I made an appointement AS soon as possible to get the tile OVER it.

Now, when the installer came out this morning, like I said he took a scrapper (about the size of a mop, it was long) and started taking it up. I called the tile store RIGHT AWAY and was told someone from the store would be 'right out'.

Of course, by the time the guy came out, the installer finished and had covered the area with the slab that would go under the tile. I tried to explain this to the tile company, but was told "not to worry, and that if it was bad all these installers would get sick." I just heard from the installer that he's been doing this for years and not to worry.

So, the tile IS down.. Do I just leave it? He is coming to grout it tomorrow..

I didn't know if I was supposed to stop the job on the spot (and leave it exposed), call an asbestos expert? I didn't know what to do.

Luckily, there is no furniture in the rooms near where he did it, but in the front room I have two couches.

IS there a way for me to test around it to see if anything is in the air? I am pissed because the guy who took up the carpet (from the tile company) said he could 'guarentee there was asbestos' under this area. Now, when someone HE hired to do the job disturbed it, it's "no big deal". UGH!!

Please let me know if I should do any testing or if I should just let it be now that it's covered?

Thank you.
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Old 06-26-2009, 07:34 PM   #9
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asbestos emergency - please help!!


Is there any of the tile left to be tested?
Given they SAID it was asbestos & it would not be touched I'd insist that it now be tested before anything else happens
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Old 06-26-2009, 07:38 PM   #10
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asbestos emergency - please help!!


Did he leave any of the material he took up? If so you can get a test kit at Ace Hardware. You put the sample in a sealed envelope and send it off to the lab for testing. You have your results in about a week usually.
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:05 PM   #11
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The chances of asbestos causing cancer increase with exposure. But let's look at numbers and decide if the sky is falling here:

Chances for a non-smoking male to contract lung cancer without asbestos exposure: 1.3%
Chances for a non-smoking male to contract lung cancer with asbestos exposure (period not specified): 2.6% (according to NIOSH)
Chances for a male smoker to contract lung cancer without asbestos exposure: 17.2%

From the US Health and Human Services website:
"Most people do not become ill from the asbestos they are exposed to. Asbestos exposure becomes a health concern when high concentrations of asbestos fibers are inhaled over a long time period. People who become ill from asbestos are almost always those who are exposed on a day-to-day basis in a job where they work directly with the material."
http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2001pres/20010916a.html
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:22 PM   #12
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Yeah...Death.....I'd simply chance it
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:31 PM   #13
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asbestos emergency - please help!!


I don't think there is anything I can do at this point. The tile is all down and I will make them seal it up.
I wasn't sure if I should allow him to do the job or not. He did clean up, but he didn't seem to have a care in the world that it could be Asbestos. Though, I do remember the man who took up the carpet from the company stating 'by law' they couldn't take up the floor (because of the Asbestos). I am just amazed that someone working in field would not know to not take it up.

I could have halted the work, possibly been exposed more, wait for perfessionals to show up, but I was 'assued' by the worker everything was OK....

What I remembered is him scrapping the floor, maybe 3-4 panels if the vinyl were up.. and when we told him he wasn't supposed to do that, he laid it back down.. So, I don't believe he ripped it up and threw it in the trash, but there were pieces that he swept up.

Oh well... This is just a warning to everyone to WATCH it when you hire an 'expert'. I am just amazed at what happened.. after I was being SO careful.

Thanks for all your help
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Old 06-28-2009, 02:11 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by irishgem@ymail. View Post
I don't think there is anything I can do at this point. The tile is all down and I will make them seal it up.
I wasn't sure if I should allow him to do the job or not. He did clean up, but he didn't seem to have a care in the world that it could be Asbestos. Though, I do remember the man who took up the carpet from the company stating 'by law' they couldn't take up the floor (because of the Asbestos). I am just amazed that someone working in field would not know to not take it up.

I could have halted the work, possibly been exposed more, wait for perfessionals to show up, but I was 'assued' by the worker everything was OK....

What I remembered is him scrapping the floor, maybe 3-4 panels if the vinyl were up.. and when we told him he wasn't supposed to do that, he laid it back down.. So, I don't believe he ripped it up and threw it in the trash, but there were pieces that he swept up.

Oh well... This is just a warning to everyone to WATCH it when you hire an 'expert'. I am just amazed at what happened.. after I was being SO careful.

Thanks for all your help
Most people in construction are the same way. Asbestos is treated as a joke and they think the law is silly. I have talked to asbestos abatement workers and even they themselves say it is overhyped and not to worry too much.

If you think thats bad, our entire home has multiple botched removals during a remodel. You can pay about $100-200 for the pros to come in and test the air quality inside your house. They have machines that suck in the air and will find any problems. I'd say with that little amount of tile you're fine.

I was thinking of getting a hepa air filter. But the asbestos abatement contractor i talked to said it wouldn't really help much. Although i do want to find a hepa vacuum to vacuum any lose debris. i can't find an affordable hepa vacuum rated for asbestos tho
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:41 PM   #15
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That's pretty good coming from a guy that has no idea about a subject as serious as asbestos that he is dispensing advice about. I don't agree with you HOLT and neither does the government information about asbestos abatement. Those little white suits and HEPA Filters and plastic curtains and special handling of debris used by abatement companies are there for a reason.

Look I'm just trying to help this guy out who came here looking for information. You don't need to be rude in your comment applying I'm not taking this serious. I work around this stuff every day for my job and I have a fear of it. For work once a year I have to take a osha required class and test on it. If I can pass the test I can work. So ya I take it seriously.

As for the flooring company. They need to pay and have a company come in and test. If it is asbestos they are responsible for paying a clean up crew since they obviously made a mistake. I dont think the gentleman who was scrapping the floor needs to be fined not $10,000. I think he is uneducated about asbestos and needs to be educated. Asbestos is not joke, You let the pros take care of it. This is not DIY


Last edited by Holt; 06-28-2009 at 08:46 PM.
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