Asbestos in sheet flooring?

shanab99December 27, 2010

My home was done being built in mid-1979. We were told by our inspector not to worry about asbestos. We recently remodeled the kitchen and hubby had to pry up ceramic tile that was laid on top of vinyl flooring that was laid on plywood. He also pryed up the plywood so he could install the new floor on hardiboard, but had to do some cutting with a circular saw in order to pry up the plywood in pieces. This was about a month ago. I just recently read about the dangers of asbestos in flooring, now I'm worried that the vinyl sheet flooring had asbestos in it and we released it into the air. Given the age of the house, should I be concerned? I have 3 small kids. I cleaned all the dust up meticulously, but I'm losing sleep at night.

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You probably have nothing to worry about. Any dust that was released into the house air is gone by now. Even wood dust, can be carcinogenic, but to lose sleep over your casual exposure (if there was any of consequence) is obsessive.

Have the home air tested, if you think that will set your mind at ease. Give up smoking, if you engage in that dirty habit. And, consider avoiding trips in the family automobile on interstate 'that' is a hazardous and life-threatening activity.

Your one-time exposure is probably of no consequence to the health of you or your family members.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 4:02PM
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Well, I was able to find a small piece under a cabinet and send it out for testing. Turns out the backing is 15% chrysotile asbestos. Trying not to obsess--- though I am steam-cleaning my rugs, wiping down hard surfaces and throwing away the vacuum I used to clean up the dust the saw made... Anything else I should do?

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 5:33PM
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I know Armstrong used asbestos backing on the designer solarian in my old house. I don't like to hear of it being cut with a circular saw. I think you could ask your city building inspectors for the hazardous material department. I went to them when I sold my old house and asked about specific asbestos hazards and disposal methods. I'm pretty sure they would help you but be careful you don't trigger expensive remediations.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 8:10PM
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Well, what's done is done so we can't do anything about disposal or remediation. We may have an air test if we can afford it. Thanks for the advice--I almost wish I didn't find out about this.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 10:27PM
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Yeah, too bad you didn't know beforehand, but it is highly unlikely that you or your family members will have any adverse physical consequences due to casual exposure.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 1:34AM
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You should use a good dustmask when doing any kind of work like sanding or sawing. When you're done, vacuum yourself and the site well. Wash your clothes.
The most danger your kids will be in are the effects of lack of exercise and obesity.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 3:06AM
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