Posted by CEA on January 26, 2004 at 19:52:52:
In response to Re: ASBESTOS TILES
Asbestos tile is asphalt tile with asbestos fibers embedded in it, which since the fibers aren't loose (or "friable") is basically harmless. There are also all kinds of asphalt tile, so there's a fair chance your "asbestos tile" isn't.

Peel up the tiles (a heat gun should help soften the underlying mastic) and don't gratuitously break them up and wave them around. Bag them in a plastic trash bag and forget it. If you're a worrier, wear gloves and a dust mask, wipe the area down afterwards with damp paper towels, vacuum, throw away the vacuum bag, and don't tell the EPA.

The flaky, plaster-like asbestos materials used for pipe insulation and fireproofing in old buildings is almost impossible to remove intact and creates a lot of dust. Dealing with it is a job for a professional asbestos abatement contractor, who can either cover it with a permanent plastic wrap that keeps the fibers from flying around, or remove it using protective clothing and HEPA filtration equipment. Even then, opinions vary on how dangerous it actually is. Most of the asbestosis cases cited in the studies and lawsuits occurred in asbestos plant workers who were literally breathing the stuff.

Now, go get your project done before the radon in your basement kills you. :)

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