Asbestos containing vinyl asbestos floor tiles Airborne Asbestos Release from Tile Mastics, Cutback Adhesive, or Roofing Sealants & Mastics
     


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Airborne asbestos hazards associated with tile mastics, roofing sealants, and similar products: Although the tile themselves are unlikely to contain asbestos, the grout and bedding may well contain asbestos and the demolition of the tile will likely create an exposure hazard when the grout and/or bedding are disturbed. In addition, demolition jobs, whether indoors at a tiled kitchen or bath, or outsider at an older roof where asbestos materials were used in roof convering, sealants, mastics, or underlayment produce similar hazards.

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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Does Work on Floor Tile Mastic, Cutback Adhesive, or Roofing Sealant/Mastic/Flashing Cement risk releasing harmful particles into indoor air?

Asbestos containing vinyl asbestos floor tilesWatch out: Phillip A. Peterson Vice President Fibertec Industrial Hygiene Services, Inc.[49] in discussing asbestos hazards surrounding some types of flooring advises that \

Although the tile themselves are unlikely to contain asbestos, the grout and bedding may well contain asbestos and the demolition of the tile will likely create an exposure hazard when the grout and/or bedding are disturbed.

[Click to enlarge any image]

Floor tiles that are being demolished, ground, sanded, or cut with a tile saw, if they are old enough to have been installed when asbestos was in common use in grout, tile bedding, or (in newer homes) thin set or tile mastic, could be hazardous and should be handled appropriately.

If you are considering demolition of old floor tiles or similar materials, or are using a sander, grinder or tile saw on such materials, there could indeed be an asbestos hazard and you should follow appropriate handling, dust control, personal protection, and cleanup procedures.

If you have a segment of floor tile (or any material) tested for asbestos the test should be performed by a certified asbestos testing laboratory.

In Any Case, Better to Leave Asbestos-Containing Floor Tiles & Adhesives In Place When Possible

As with known or suspected asbestos-containing floor tiles (such as asphalt or vinyl-asphalt asbestos floor tiles), when it's feasible expert sources recommend leaving the original floor tile material in place and covering it over with new flooring.

Leaving asbestos-suspect flooring in place, even if you need to level the floor before it is covered with new material, is not only less costly than a professional asbestos abatement project, it also is likely to be the course with the lowest risk of asbestos dust or fiber release and contamination in the building. According to the US EPA {discussing asbestos abatement in schools] :

... In addition, abatement activities may create more of a hazard than would normally exist if the ACM were simply protected and maintained in good condition as is the case for ceramic floor tiles. ...[3]

Similar sources indicate that simple deconstruction of a building with appropriately careful disassembly of its parts may not require asbestos abatement. [4]

Details about covering-over asbestos-containing floor tiles or other ACM flooring such as resilient sheet flooring are
at ASBESTOS FLOORING HAZARD REDUCTION

Special thank-you to reader A.H. who suggested clarification about the risk that ceramic wall tiles or ceramic floor tiles might contain asbestos. - Ed.

Health Hazards of Other Ceramics: Clays, Pottery, Art Studios

For potential health hazards associated with exposure to artists materials for those working with ceramics, such as clays, glazing compounds, and pigments, see our "Arts & Crafts materials, hazards & toxicity" entry
at ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS - INSPECT, TEST, REMEDY
and references below
at [51][52][53] or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.

 

Continue reading at MASTIC, CUTBACK ADHESIVE, FLASHING CEMENT ASBESTOS or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.

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ASBESTOS MASTIC INTO AIR? at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

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