10:54AM | 03/17/06
Member Since: 03/16/06
2 lifetime posts
I'm worried sick! Our home was built in the 1950s, and our laundry/storage room has asbestos tile in it. We are planning to put peel-and-stick lineoleum tiles over it, but there are a few broken pieces of tile lying around and I'm really worried about cleaning them up. Also, the tile on the two stairs has worn completely down.

First, I'm worred about cleaning up the pieces and debris so we can install the new floor. I'm also so worried about asbestos fibers we may have been exposed to since we moved in last summer. We walk through the laundry room all the time--over the areas that have been worn through--and I'm concerned that we've been releasing fibers and touching it with our feet for the past several months. Should we have our home tested? How should we go about cleaning up the broken tiles (it's a small amount)? Thank you so much for your help!


12:45PM | 03/20/06
Member Since: 02/17/05
43 lifetime posts
The most important thing for you to understand is that asbestos dust is only a hazard when it is airborne--in other words when it is in such small pieces that there is dust from it in the air. In my 20 years of asbestos inspecting I've rarely seen this happen unless it's being damaged intentionally by some mechanical tool (like a saw or drill). I doubt very much this is the case in your laundry room.

Just picking up some fragments of tile is NOT a health hazard. I see no reason for you to test the air quality of your home unless someone turned the tile into dust somehow.

Covering the tile with self-stick tiles is a good and inexpensive way to address your problem. If there are only a few loose tiles, you can remove them without fear of contamination as long as you leave them "in-tact"--in other words, make sure you don't turn them into dust somehow. An added precaution would be to wet them down with water before handling them. Water is the "natural enemy" of dust and therefore is an important way to control any microscopic fibers that could escape.

Unless you have evidence that that tiles have been pulverized and reduced to dust, you and your children have nothing to worry about with these tiles.

I hope this allays some of your fears.

Fortress Environmental Solutions
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