How to Test Vinyl Floor Tiles for Asbestos

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    • 1). Examine the floor to see if there is a broken or loose piece of vinyl tile that you can reach. You need a sample about the size of a nickel. The lab prefers three samples if you can get them but don't attempt to cut or break off a piece yourself. If there is a loose piece proceed to step two. If not skip to step 4

    • 2). Open a gallon-sized zippered storage bag and lay it on the floor beside the broken piece of tile or loose tile. If a full tile has come loose, have a bag large enough to handle the whole tile without breaking or cutting it. Spray the area with water mist to settle any loose dust. Wear gloves, eye protection and adust mask while doing the sample collection.

    • 3). Pick up the tile sample with needle nose pliers. Wear a dust mask and rubber gloves while removing the sample. Be careful not to disturb or stir up any dust. Slip the sample of the tile into a plastic bag and zip it shut. Spritz the area with water to hold down any dust. Blot up any dust with a paper towel and seal the damp paper towel in a plastic bag before disposing.

    • 4). Contact the Environmental Protection Agency office in your area or a professional asbestos abatement contractor. They can tell you where to take your sample for testing or tell you who in your area will collect a sample for you. The testing facility will tell you whether you have asbestos tiles or not and advise you on what to do.

    • 5). Avoid do-it-yourself home sampling kits. If your flooring is not already chipped it may be safer for you to lay a new floor over the old one and encapsulate the old tile to prevent fibers from escaping. If the tile is chipped, cracked or frayed, hire professionals to remove it.

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