There is something to be said for asbestos products. They are inexpensive, very resistant to heat and fire, extremely durable and sturdy, yet, flexible enough to be installed even in the toughest spots. Hence it is not really surprising that the asbestos floor tile was very popular up until the 1980s. And as a matter of fact, some recently conducted studies suggests that most of the floor tiles back then consisted of two main components; vinyl and asbestos.
But as we all know there is unfortunately also another side to the story. As long as the asbestos floor tiles stay intact and remain undamaged, there is supposedly, and according to many experts, no need to be concerned. However, even little scratches or ruptures create enough of a risk for anybody on site or in close proximity, to develop serious health issues, including mesothelioma, asbestosis and certain forms of lung cancers.
Primarily for financial reasons, a lot of homeowners who exactly face this kind of problem decide to put a new layer of different flooring on top of the asbestos floor tiling. This approach is questionable though, as it may not fully resolve the issue of still having microscopically small and toxic dust particles finding their way out, getting airborne and potentially being inhaled by the homeowners.
The certainly better, yet, more costly option is to remove the damaged asbestos tiles entirely. However, that is not an easy task. Usually, all vinyl asbestos tiles were glued to the floor and it requires the adequate gear to get them removed. In this is the reason why it is highly recommendable to hire a professional asbestos removal company for the job. I strongly suggest not to add that to your ‘do-it-yourself’ list; the risk of doing severe damage to your health is simply too high.
I have kidney cancer and it might very well be that I got it from being exposed to asbestos, while I helped my father cutting and preparing asbestos sheets, which we later mounted on to the outside walls of our house. That was back in the mid 80s and according to my pathology report and the characteristics of my cancer, it is quite possible that I started to develop my disease over 20 years ago. This would pretty much fall into the time window where I got in unprotected contact with the material, on a daily basis over the course of several months.