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ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS - INSPECT, TEST, REMEDY
AGE of a BUILDING - how to determine
AIR POLLUTANTS, COMMON INDOOR
ASBESTOS CEILING TILES, Asbestos-Containing
ASBESTOS CEMENT ROOFING
ASBESTOS CEMENT SIDING
ASBESTOS DUCTS, HVAC
ASBESTOS FLOORING HAZARD REDUCTION
ASBESTOS FLOORING REMOVAL GUIDE
ASBESTOS-FREE INSULATION MATERIALS
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN buildings
ASBESTOS LIST of PRODUCTS
ASBESTOS MATERIAL REGULATIONS
ASBESTOS PHOTO GUIDE to MATERIALS
ASBESTOS REMOVAL, INCOMPLETE
ASBESTOS REMOVAL CERTIFICATION
ASBESTOS REMOVAL, WETTING GUIDE
ASBESTOS RISK ASSESSMENT
ASBESTOS TESTING LAB LIST
ASBESTOS UNDER the MICROSCOPE
CATHEDRAL CEILING INSULATION
CEILING FINISHES INTERIOR
CEILINGS, DROP or SUSPENDED PANEL
CEILINGS & WALLS, PLASTER TYPES
CERAMIC TILE, ASBESTOS in?
FLOOR TILE HISTORY & INGREDIENTS
FLOOR TILES ASBESTOS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
INSULATION IDENTIFICATION GUIDE
METAL LATH, PLASTER & STUCCO
PLASTER TYPE IDENTIFICATION
SAFETY HAZARDS & INSPECTIONS
WORLD TRADE CENTER 9-11 DUST PHOTOS
Suggestions for covering or remediating asbestos-suspect floor adhesive or mastic. This article points out that while most mastics and adhesives are not friable thus not easily airborne, there may be reasons to cover up such materials to reduce possible future indoor airborne asbestos exposure.
This article series answers questions about floor tile, sheet flooring, or roofing cutback adhesives or mastics that may contain asbestos. Does or did roofing mastic products & sealants contain asbestos? What are the hazards of demolishing or working on floors or roofs where asphalt-based asbestos-containing mastics, cutback adhesives, or sealants were used? Page top photo of black mastic floor tile adhesive provided courtesy of reader G.M.
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Reader Question: has this asbestos-containing flooring adhesive mastic been properly covered and is it safe?
We took possession of a property which had some asbestos removal and cleaning done to it. We were told that there was bitumen adhesive in the bathroom but that it had been covered to make it safe.
Can you tell from the picture I have included if a covering has been put on [effectively]? Thanks R.F. - United Kingdom, 10 September 2013
Normally I'm reluctant to make a firm promise or diagnostic about building conditions from a simple email or a photo or two. We know that an onsite expert will virtually always see important clues or even more dangerous conditions than those that might be reported by a normal homeowner or occupant. That apologia made, if you click-to-enlarge the photo at above left - that you provided in nice detail, one can see that a tan floor tile mastic remains in place and even looks a bit fragile in some areas (photo right side).
I also see what looks like pinkish paper-like material that may have been red rosin paper or more likely, the backer of sheet or tile flooring that was removed from the area shown.
In my OPINION we are looking at a sloppy, amateur floor covering removal that left old materials in place.
As you can read beginning at MASTIC, CUTBACK ADHESIVE, FLASHING CEMENT ASBESTOS, some floor adhesives contain asbestos, others don't. If your floor was installed prior to 1985, it would be prudent to treat the flooring as well as its adhesive as "PACM" or presumed-asbestos-containing material. Where costs to remove, clean, or cover-over such a floor are not a major expense I'm not sure that testing is warranted.
The EPA and other expert sources explain that the presence of asbestos in buildings does not necessarily warrant its removal, stating:
It is usually reasonable to cover over an asbestos-suspect floor, thereby significantly reducing the risk of sending asbestos fragments or particles of flooring or floor adhesive into the air at detectable levels. And by leaving the flooring material in place you actually expose the building to less asbestos hazard risk than by removing it (in most cases).
For a sloppy job such as the floor in your photo, I would consider the following:
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