Possibly Vinyl Sheet Flooring Asbestos Backing

CodyyDecember 14, 2011


I need some risk assessment advice.

I recently moved into a new place and discovered vinyl sheet flooring with some damage, in the basement. Here is an image of it:


I am aware that old vinyl sheet flooring may contain asbestos backing material. Upon close inspection of the exposed backing material (in the areas of the image where the flooring is obviously damaged) I discovered what appear to be fiber bundles protruding from the material - it definitely seems like asbestos to me.

To prevent any further possible release of ACM, I have coated the exposed damage edge of flooring with silicone to bind the material.

I need some risk assessment at how bad this is though. I have only been here for about a month, the landlord has lived here for about 15 years possibly, so obviously this damage was cumulative and occurred slowly, not all at once. Given the extent of the visible damage in the photo, do you think serious contamination is a concern? That area may have been walked on and I am concerned about household contamination from things such as socks touching it and being washed with other clothes, dust tracked through the house, etc. What are your thoughts? This discovery has been quite distressing overall.

The backing material seems quite stable. I touched it with gloves very gently and the fiber bundles seem quite firm. The backing material itself is also well put together and does not fall apart when being touched gently.



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It poses no risk in it's state. Just forget about it.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 12:13AM
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Asbestos was removed from vinyl flooring in 1984. You are no risk, it is dangerous only if sanded.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 6:13PM
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If you are worried, send a sample to a reputable lab to be tested. It runs $25 - $50 and you'll have the results in 1-3 days. Although asbestos backing on vinyl flooring was outlawed, some shady flooring retailers were still installing it after 1984. We found that out just before we removed flooring from our kitchen!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 7:42PM
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I believe that retailers could legally sell and install asbestos containing flooring after 1984 up until a date which I don't remember.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 11:39PM
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Yes, I think manufacturing was stopped but they were still allowed to sell the old stock.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 12:01AM
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