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Asbestos. How Bad Is Having Already Ripped Up A Vinyl Floor With An Asbestos Paper Lining?

Mesothelioma causes, treatment and diagnosis discussion

Asbestos. How Bad Is Having Already Ripped Up A Vinyl Floor With An Asbestos Paper Lining?

Postby Kalman » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:55 pm

I already know there is asbestos outside, and therefore in your lungs everytime you breathe.


I know it only takes one fiber to have a problem with it.


I know higher exposure = higher chance, but this is where it gets murky. I cannot find the numbers.


I don't know how much is outside. One abatement guy said he'd rather be in a contaminated area removing asbestos pipe insulation rather than on the street during rush hour.



In that case I'd think I shouldn't be having the absolute panic attack I'm having about ripping up a few pieces of paper (tested 20% asbestos).


However, everything else I've read suggests I will now die. Or will if I stay in my house.


I can't find info for AFTER you have done it. People remodeled all the time, does that mean all older houses have this level of asbestos in it?


My BF deals with guys who use it in thier jobs, they think it's no big deal.
Ergo, his opinion.


The lab said I need to worry more about disposal, then said I'd die in 40 years.


I'm confused.
Kalman
 
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Asbestos. How Bad Is Having Already Ripped Up A Vinyl Floor With An Asbestos Paper Lining?

Postby Burlie » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:18 pm

Well, asbestos causes mesothelioma and absestosis, both of which are horrible diseases.
First, while you are ripping out the flooring, wear a mask. The asbestos fibers are actually "big" in terms of particle size, so get a mask from the hardware store and you should be ok.
That is why one guy you talked to said he would rather be near asbestos than traffic, because car smoke has small particles in it....

Since you have already taken the flooring out, you need to find a special place that properally disposes of asbestos materials.
Usually when construction people do the work, what costs so much is the removal because it has to be sent to a special place.
DO NOT DISCARD IT IN THE TRASH.
If they burn it, it could harm other people.

Once you have located a place that will take the asbestos flooring, put it in a garbage bag and take it to them.

You will probably have to pay money.

Now, if the asbestos is still in your house after you removed the flooring......keep it damp and cover it until you can finish the job.
Burlie
 
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Asbestos. How Bad Is Having Already Ripped Up A Vinyl Floor With An Asbestos Paper Lining?

Postby Edison » Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:30 am

First off, don't panic.
I hate to see people get bad information and then become fearful.
There is a risk of diesase, but it is very tiny.

The risk from exposure to asbestos has been largely overstated for non-occupational exposures.
Virtually all the identified disease associated with asbestos exposure has been documented from occupational (pipefitters, plumbers, plasterers, insulators and the like) as opposed to exposure in a residence.
The exception to this was in Libby, Montana, where clusters of lung diseases were identified in people who both lived in the town (but many of them also worked in the mine that had asbestos contaminating its product) so they may have been occupationally exposed, as well.

Even occupationally, the vast majority of cases of disease have come from long-term high-level exposures and from long-term moderate exposures.
The Single Fiber theory is just that, a theory.
The origin of the Single Fiber theory lay in the speculation that no safe limit for exposure to asbestos had been identified.
It's possible, but the chances of getting an asbestos-related disease from a single exposure to a single fiber are very remote.

There are no established numbers for residential exposure.
The potential for disease depends on dose, individual susceptibility and other factors, such as smoking.
Smokers who are routinely exposed to asbestos (such as removal workers or pipefitters) are 50x more likely to have a lung cancer than a non-exposed or non-smoking individual.
This is what is called a 'synergistic' effect.

Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, has been used in a lot of building materials.
These materials, if they are maintained in good condition, have a limited potential to release fibers.

Your prior work, removing asbestos paper backing under resilient vinyl flooring, had the potential to release asbestos fibers.
You didn't specify how you removed this material.
If you remove asbestos in a wet state and clean up the debris using damp/wet methods, the likelihood of a fiber release is very low.

If you did the work in a 'dry' state, some fibers were probably airborne.
Eventually, asbestos dust settles out, leaves through open doors or windows, or can be wiped up.
If you have not done this already, consider a damp wipe of all surfaces in the affected area.
This will trap most of the settled fibers on a rag or other material where they can be discarded.
Fiber concentrations in homes where there has been 'bad' abatement that I have seen after the fact have rarely exceeded the occupational permissible exposure limit, and in the sites that have, a thorough cleaning removed a large fraction of the fibers.

You have not been getting what I would consider reliable advice: your lab, for one, should be familiar enough with the regulations to know that homeowners can remove asbestos from their own buildings and simply dispose of it in the municipal waste stream.
No special disposal is required by the Federal regs that govern asbestos [called the asbestos NESHAP].
Telling you that you are going to die in 40 years is also inappropriate and may be unethical as well, depending on the context of the comment/advice you were given.

Your friend is correct, there is a certain background concentration of asbestos in air.
It is generally low.
There are exceptions, as there are to everything - places like toll booths and the like are locations where you can find higher concentrations.
This is due to the presence of asbestos in brake linings - particles of asbestos are not emitted from the car/engine/tailpipe, but from the brakes and the wheelwells.

If you are looking for a study or a guideline number to govern asbestos exposure in a home, there isn't one.
The risk is too small to adequately characterize or distinguish from exposure from other sources.

One thing is certain, we are all going to die.
It is extremely unlikely that you will die from exposure to asbestos from this event.

As a a suggestion, you might consider retaining a licensed asbestos abatement contractor to conduct an environmental cleaning of the rooms in your house you feel have been impacted by asbestos.
In my estimation, it's probably going to be money ill-spent for risk reduction purposes, but if it gives you a comfort level, then obviously that has value to you.

Good luck.
If you remove any more asbestos yourself, make sure you take adequate precautions to protect yourself.
Respiratory protection and wet/damp method removal and prompt cleanup of debris are key to controlling fiber exposure in residential settings.

Hope this is helpful.
Edison
 
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Asbestos. How Bad Is Having Already Ripped Up A Vinyl Floor With An Asbestos Paper Lining?

Postby willesone15 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:54 am

Sounds like you could use a good civil suit lawyer to me.
willesone15
 
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