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Old 11-20-2011, 04:07 AM   #1
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Asbestos in floor tiles if house was built in 1991?


We are preparing for laminate flooring and had to remove the ugliest pink entry floor tiles you have ever seen. I asked Home Depot if all the mastic had to be removed from the concrete, and someone proceeded to tell me that if it's black mastic then it contains asbestos and I need an abatement company. OMG. Was not prepared to hear that. My husband took the tiles up by smashing them. We had NO idea. If the house was built in 1991, is there a chance this mastic doesn't contain asbestos? I'm still going to scrape it up- can't afford abatement and can't stop now. I'll just use a face mask and lots to water to keep the dust down. I'd really feel better if I knew that these floor tiles were most likely ok. Thanks.

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Old 11-20-2011, 06:28 AM   #2
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Asbestos in floor tiles if house was built in 1991?


You are fine---Asbestos was out of all building products by 1978----

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Old 11-20-2011, 09:08 AM   #3
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Asbestos in floor tiles if house was built in 1991?


Oh Mike, I think you are overly optimistic about asbestos being out of building products. Let me quote from the David Law firm web site:

Legal Status of Asbestos in the U.S.

With all the evidence clearly showing the dangers of asbestos usage it would seem that asbestos would be illegal by now. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Though it was banned in 1989 the ban was repealed and in 1991 and asbestos is still legal today.
Due to litigation from workers injured during the asbestos mining process, asbestos is no longer produced in the US; it does however continue to be imported and processed within our borders.
In Europe a number of countries including Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, and Switzerland have passed all encompassing bans on Asbestos production, usage, importation, and exportation. Other countries, such as France have all but ended asbestos usage within their borders yet have been aggressively pushing their products in Asia, and Latin America.
In the mid-eighties, Canada, being the world's second largest producer of asbestos, went so far as to lobby in the United States to promote the continued use of asbestos when the Environmental Protection Agency attempted to ban it. Their effort succeeded and the ban was not implemented. The Canadian government later went on to pay $4 million to the Asbestos Institute to promote the use of asbestos around the world.
Since its founding in 1991 a European federation called Ban Asbestos has held numerous meetings across the globe in as they continue to push for a world wide ban. Other organizations such as the International Labor Organization (the employment division of the UN) have pushed for international treaties establishing the rules for safe asbestos handling and labeling. The European Union has managed to pass laws regulating the safety procedures for handling asbestos and requiring labeling on all asbestos containing products. The subject of banning the use of asbestos in the Union has been heavily debated.

Assuming this information is correct, and I believe it is, any statement categorically ruling out the presence of asbestos is unwarranted. In my experience working in nuclear power plants and nuclear refining facilities, we find asbestos was commonly used right up until about 1980, and certain products in use today still test positive for asbestos.

All that said, there are relatively simple, proven techniques to safely handle asbestos. The EPA has an entire website devoted to removal of asbestos. In general, the key is to keep it intact. Smashing tiles in this case was a bad idea, but if they were wet, and the operator used an approved mask, probably no big deal. As to removal of mastic, may not even be necessary, certainly depends on the covering to be installed. And as for the big box claim that black mastic probably has asbestos, then only way to know for sure is to get the product tested.
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:34 AM   #4
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Asbestos in floor tiles if house was built in 1991?


Thank you for that Daniel----I should have qualified that by saying--residential flooring products--
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:39 AM   #5
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Asbestos in floor tiles if house was built in 1991?


And they were allowed to sell ALL existing stock. Some estimates are that it sold into the 90's.
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:51 PM   #6
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Asbestos in floor tiles if house was built in 1991?


Not ALL black mastic contains asbestos. Have it tested.
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:53 PM   #7
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Asbestos in floor tiles if house was built in 1991?


Quote:
Originally Posted by plowboy View Post
Not ALL black mastic contains asbestos. Have it tested.
Very true.
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:08 PM   #8
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Asbestos in floor tiles if house was built in 1991?


In the first 7 years of this century (2000-2007) the U.S. consumed 50,000 metric tons of asbestos and added it to asbestos containing products sold in America, according to the Commerce Departmentís U.S. Geologic survey. The last asbestos mine in the U.S. closed in 2002. However, the U.S.G.S. only tracks mineral use in the U.S., not imports of finished goods containing asbestos.
The U.S. EPA successfully banned the use of most friable materials during the 1970s through the Clean Air act. The EPA then attempted a phase out/ban on all asbestos materials in 1989. Much of the original rule was vacated and remanded by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1991. Thus the original 1989 EPA ban on the U.S. manufacture, importation, processing or distribution in commerce of many asbestos containing product catagories was set aside and did not remain in effect. The ruling was not that there was insufficient evidence of a hazzard, but that the EPA could not prove they had jurisdiction to create and enforce the ban.
ACM products currently BANNED:
Under the toxic Substance Control Act: Corrugated paper, commercial paper, specialty paper, rollboard, flooring felt and new uses of asbestos.
Under the Clean Air Act: Most spray applied surfacing materials, wet applied asbestos pipe insulation, sprayed on building applications containing more than 1% asbestos unless encapsulated in a bituminous or resinous binder, preformed asbestos block insulation for boilers or water tanks and pre-formed asbestos pipe insulation.
Asbestos products NOT BANNED: asbestos cement sheet (flat or corrugated), asbestos clothing, pipeline wrap, roofing felt, VINYL ASBESTOS FLOOR TILES, asbestos cement shingles, millboard, asbestos cement pipe, clutch and friction facings including brake components, gaskets and coatings. All of these products can still be made in the U.S. or imported.
In 2001, the EPA inventoried 3,000 products still containing some asbestos for sale in the U.S.
Makes me wonder what else might be in Chinese drywall?

Most U.S. flooring products were asbestos free by 1982, not by law, but by the manufacturer's choice.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:36 PM   #9
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Asbestos in floor tiles if house was built in 1991?


I agree. You are just fine.

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