Please HELP! I think my contractor sanded asbestos floor tiles.

Vanessa118July 10, 2014

I have a house built in the 1920's and wanted to remove two layers of old flooring in the kitchen so I could get down to the original wood. The contractor came while we were out and pulled one layer of 9x9 squares up. The next layer was not coming up easily I guess, so they sanded around the edge of the room to get a look at the wood underneath. This floor is also 9x9, an old-timey fake brick pattern. Underneath it the adhesive looks peachy in color. When I came home there was dust all over, approx 1/4 of the floor has been sanded up. The contractor stopped work because the original wood floor did not appear worth saving after all, and he wanted me to pick a new flooring material to install. After a day of living with this I started thinking that perhaps the "brick" layer is asbestos tile and/or adhesive. I have a toddler in the house, and we have all been literally walking through the dust! I'm waiting for a call back from him to come back and take a look. What should I do?

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Vanessa, my husband is an environmental engineering consultant. He says you probably have nothing to worry about. It's unlikely that there is asbestos in the flooring. But one way you can tell: asbestos is fibrous - it would be in strands or fibers, not round particles. If there is any doubt, you can call an asbestos removal specialist and ask him whether it's asbestos or not. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 1:45AM
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You have to take a piece of the flooring tiles to a lab that does asbestos analysis to be sure. They don't have terribly low detection limits usually-- most are set up to determine Yes or No to the question of whether the material has 1% or more fibers. But where they used it in products, they generally used a lot, so that should be adequate.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 12:17AM
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