all sorts of good news in here today
i ordered a respirator with asbestos rated filters and a tyvek coverall (i have to tear out a chimney anyways) and given the amount of damage to the tiles i'm pretty sure they have to come out one way or another. i'm also looking into some abatement companies locally. if its not absurdly expensive i'll pay someone, otherwise ill be wearing really old floor tile for a day.
and at the time of the photo i was tearing down shelving & some very beat up luan and vinyl flooring :p the tiles are still intact.