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linoleun floor removal problems


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  • linoleun floor removal problems

    I pulled up the linoleum floor in my kitchen and breakfast area and scraped the cardboard backing up, but as I worked I was itching all over. Is there fiberglass in that cardboard stuff and was it safe if it made me itch. I am a little worried with the fact that it could have contained asbestos. How would I know now that I have removed it all. There was two layers of flooring. UGH!!Please help.

  • #2
    The liklihood of it containing asbestos is extremely slim, however,fiberglass is also a friable fibre and the jury is still out on the long term effects of inhaling fiberglass fibers. Basic rule of thumb, no matter what you are working on, if it is producing an appreciable amount of dust wear a dust mask. As a minimum you should use the paper type dust masks, but if you are working with something that is producing an appreciable amount of dust (enough to put a cloud in the air) you should wear a good dust mask with replacable filters. Also, when wearing a dust mask check it often to be sure it is sealing correctly to your face. To check a mask you simply cover the filter intake ports with your hand and attempt to inhale. If you can inhale with the ports covered the mask is not properly fit to your face.
    While we are all aware of the dangers of asbestos there are myriads of other products that are just as dangerous. By example, sawdust from redwood is highly toxic. When in doubt, wear the mask.
    Good EPA certified dust masks are not overly expensive. Normally you can find one in the $20 range.
    Mask filters come in many varieties so be sure the one you buy has filters EPA rated for the task at hand, dust, asbestos, fiberglass etc. Keep in mind that these are dust masks, not gas masks. Do not use a dust mask in an atmospher of gaseous toxic chemicals.
    Although many products produce a dust that is a skin irritant that does not necessarily mean it is a health hazard, on the other hand, you can do what the pro's do. Whenever working with products that are skin irritants like fiberglass wear long sleeves and button the shirt collar, then shower as soon as possible when your done. Also, keep the dirty clothes separated from your normal laundry and wash them separately to prevent the irritating fibers from getting into your other clothes.