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Another asbestos question

Posted by pam4309 (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 27, 08 at 23:57

We recently bought a condo and are redoing it. We had the old vinyl floor tiles and glue tested for asbestos and they came back positive. 10% chrystoline in the mastic and 3% in the floor tile. We plan to cover these tiles up with our new flooring although some of the tiles have come off, I guess because the mastic was dried out. I wasn't too worried about those (should I be?) but then I wondered if the same type of mastic was maybe used under and old cork tile floor and an old parquet wood floor. The floors are concrete and the cork and parquet were glued to the concrete. Don't ask me why but we didn't even think about the glue under those things when we tested the vinyl tiles. Anyway, the parquet and cork have been removed. Is there a way to test the air in the place to see if it contains asbestos? If it does, what does one do...other than panic? Thanks for your help.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Another asbestos question

It's really unlikely that even if they were some type of asbestos (not all types are toxic), one exposure would not scar you for life. The people who were affected by it worked with it day after day, year after year, and even some of them escaped without deadly consequences. I think people need to relax a bit and if they go about demo and dumping properly, should have very little to worry about.

RE: Another asbestos question

This is not a subject for amateurs. Hire a professional to advise you.

RE: Another asbestos question

Lucy's right and wrong . . . asbestos has been shown to be able to cause harm just from a single strand. of course the odds are much lower.

On the other hand, the risk is very low. tiles and mastic are not the type of asbestos that causes the problems, because it's not airborne particles. It's breathing it that's a problem, and unless you're pulverizing the tiles, the asbestos is probably adequately encapsulated.

If your glue is still glue and not turning into powder, then chances are you have basically no risk of any problems. When you lay the new floor, glue over the old stuff to encapsulate it and then fear not.

As for teh cork, don't worry until you take it up.

RE: Another asbestos question

Some years ago I had to have asbestos removed from the cellar of a house I was selling, and I had to have the air checked after the removal to measure the concentration of asbestos. It was not expensive to test, but the removal of asbestos was costly because it had to be done according to strict environmental protection standards and had to be disposed of properly.

If you can install new flooring over the existing flooring that may or may not have asbestos, that's you best bet.

As for your immediate worry, get your hands on a vacuum cleaner that comes equipped with a HEPA filter, and thoroughly vacuum the place. Alternatively, if you can stay someplace else for a few days while you have the place tested and, if necessary, professionally cleared of airborne asbestos, that would be the safest thing to do.

RE: Another asbestos question

This is an old post now, but I'd sure like to see the evidence that a single strand of asbestos can harm a person in any significant way.

I'd suggest reviewing the canadian government's studies of asbestos miners and their families. Even after decades of unprotected exposure, the great majority had no signs or symptoms of asbestos-related lung disease.

But here in the USA, there's money to be made.

RE: Another asbestos question

One way or the other, it's immaterial in this case. The asbestos from VA tile or the glue (called cutback) isn't dangerous unless you try and sand it off. Once you sand, the fibers become airborne, and as someone already said, that's when they become dangerous.

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