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Removing vinyl-asbestos floor tiles

Posted by Ed Vanden Bosche on December 13th, 2002 08:51 PM
In reply to Removing vinyl-asbestos floor tiles by Ted Ward on October 25th, 2002 10:41 AM [Go to top of thread]

The primary concern is to minimize the breakage of the tiles during removal. The more the tiles break, the greater the potential for asbestos fibers to be released.

If you could take up entire sheets of particle board or drywall with the tiles in tact, the disturbance would be minimal.

Frequently you can heat a tile with a heat gun until the tile is softened and the mastic holding it in place is loosened. Then the entire tile can be removed in tact. Be careful not to get burned.

If the tiles must be removed by scraping and breaking them, then they should be kept moistened to minimize fiber release. The person doing the removal should wear a half-face respirator with HEPA cartridges. This can cause stress on the respiratory system and circulatory system. Employers are required to have their employees take a physical exam relating to wearing a respirator prior to allowing them to wear one. Clean up of dust should be done with a HEPA vacuum and by wet wiping. Dry sweeping and vacuuming with a standard vacuum should not be done.

Waste should be placed in card board boxes or feed bags. These should then be taped shut and placed in a 6 mil poly waste bag. In commercial applications, the waste bag must bear warnings about the fact that it contains asbestos containing material.

You should check with your county solid waste disposal authority for any restrictions on disposing of this material in your area.

A commercial asbestos abatement company will seal off the room with 6 mil polyethylene sheeting and create a negative pressure using HEPA filtered exhaust fans. Then if any fibers are released, they will be contained in the work area and filtered out by the negative air machines.

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