Moderator Post (s) for this thread: >DependsbyBillhart on 05/13/2007
I used to be a regulator at EPA and did a lot of development on the asbestos regulations and contractor enforcement. (Former lifetime, don't hold it against me). Vinyl tile is a one of the products we call non-friable. That means it is difficult to crumble into pieces. In fact it takes considerable mechanical effort to separate asbestos fiber from the the vinyl or adhesive matrix. For that reason, fibers rarely become airborne from this material. An exception would be if you sand, grind or buff the tiles.
You have indicated the tiles are already loose. To eliminate any airborne fiber wet the area with soapy water and pick up the tiles and seal them in a plastic bag. If necessary, use a floor scrapper, loosen the remaining tiles, keeping them in as large pieces as possible and dispose. Using a soapy water solution, and sharp floor scraper, clean the floor of mastic. Your floor should now be ready to accept new materials. If you are uncomfortable with these procedures, there are numberous contractors that are qualified to do this removal. They will likely seal off the work area and ventilate and work using protective equipment. Keep in mind they work with this material every day and must follow procedures for minimizing worker exposures and for liability reasons will avoid contaminating your home. Their work is costly, and based on your description, you can do this yourself without significant risk. If you are a zero risk type person, hire the contractor.
Most jurisdictions allow residential non-friable floor tile to be disposed as solid waste (in the trash). Call your waste transfer facility to confirm.