Flooring, including sheet vinyl, floor tiles and any associated paper-like backing, adhesive or glue, can contain asbestos. Asbestos was added during the production of flooring to strengthen the flooring and to increase its durability.
Non-friable asbestos vinyl floor tile and adhesive (mastic) floor tile
Allowable minimal breakage means that some corners may become separated from the main part of the tile, and an occasional tile may be broken in half. Mastic must be removed using wet methods when it contains asbestos fibers.
This can be done by dissolving the mastic with a suitable solvent, then using a HEPA-filter equipped vacuuming device to remove and pick-up the resulting slurry.
Procedures for removing Non Friable Asbestos Containing Floor Tile
- Wet the tiles, place them in boxes, then place in 6-mil thick plastic bags or another type of container that can be sealed so that it is air tight; and asbestos fibers cannot escape into the atmosphere. Dispose of the asbestos waste in an appropriate licensed landfill.
- At all times, workers who are engaged in the removal of floor tile need to protect themselves from the asbestos fibers in the air. Although a properly fitted respirator with HEPA-filter cartridges is recommended; we encourage a disposable dust mask (3M, for example) be worn at a minimum. A disposable type, complete body covering should be worn and thrown away with the asbestos waste when the work is completed; so that asbestos fibers are not carried on dirty clothing to other parts of the building, where other building occupants may be exposed to asbestos fibers.
- Wash or shower completely to cleanse the areas of the body not covered by the disposable protective covering.
- Wipe down the walls and surfaces in the room where asbestos fibers may have become attached during the removal process. Use rags, rinsed frequently in water, to accomplish this effective fiber-control method, called wet cleaning