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Old 08-03-2011, 07:19 AM   #1
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Asbestos in vinyl flooring?


Ok long story short (sorry my post just deleted when I tried to post it and I'm not typing it all over again)

I've got an old house built in 68, redoing the floors. Discovered 9x9 ugly vinyl tiles under carpet and started pulling them up before realizing they may very well contain asbestos. Most of the room is all pulled up (15x14 sq ft). The tiles have been coming up pretty easy, some in whole pieces others had to be really broken apart (been using a flat head screwdriver to pull up tiles). Seems to be tiles that you peel the backs off of and just stick in place.

At this point, just finish pulling up tiles, get a sealant and lay down the hardwood and forget about it?

A lot of the sites I read up on asbestos seem to be fear induced or by asbestos inspectors and abatement which isn't exactly what I'd call unbiased info... considering this stuff was handled with the toxicity of sand back in the day and the only real cases I can find of people getting sick from it are those who mined it and where constantly breathing fibers or those doing their clothes after they got home from work.

Sure I know it's dangerous and no safe amount but... all things considered, what are your thoughts on this and my situation? I'm not a home improvement guru and I never knew much about asbestos before reading up on it the other day. I'm just a guy who bought my first house and wanted to take up the carpet and put down would flooring.

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Old 08-04-2011, 06:40 AM   #2
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Asbestos in vinyl flooring?


It sort of seems like you are looking for an endorsment of how you handled your floor. Agree that the majority of those who had/have health issues are people who worked in high concentrations of asbestos. That is pretty much what you would expect to see in any occupation that works around a dangerous process. A carpenter is more likely to get splinters than the average person. That doesn't mean that the average person won't get splinters. That does not mean that it is a less dangerous material, only that you lessen the odds of a problem by limiting your exposure. My expectation is that you won't suffer any ill effects. Asbestos in floor tile is held in a pretty heavy matrix and not particularly likely to become airborne. Breaking the tiles has the potential to release fibers and so they should be kept wetted to prevent their becoming airborne. Wearing the proper respirator is a given. Wiping up dust with damp a cloth is recommended practice. Letting the cloth dry or washing it and reusing it is problematic. Now if you wantonly broke the stuff without any regard for particles becoming airborne, stomped through the house shedding tile dust from one end to the other and left your kids play with the broken fragments, then you've changed the odds. FWIW, not all 9x9 tiles were asbestos containing, and not all 12x12s are asbestos free. Same with the mastic used to hold them down. Testing is the only way to know.


Last edited by Maintenance 6; 08-04-2011 at 06:42 AM.
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