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Old Floor Tiles May Contain Asbestos and Pose Health and Safety Issues for Building Occupants

EMSL Analytical offers asbestos testing services to help prevent needless exposure to these potentially deadly fibers.


Cinnaminson, NJ, March 5, 2013

A common do-it-yourself project for many homeowners is changing and updating the flooring in a home. What many homeowners dont realize is that asbestos was used in many floor tiles and improperly removing it may pose a health risk.

Many types of flooring, including sheet vinyl, vinyl or asphalt floor tiles and any associated paper-like backing, mastic, adhesive or glue, may contain asbestos. This is due to the fact that in many older flooring products, asbestos was added during its production to increase its strength and durability.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), There is a wide variety of resilient floor covering applications that contain asbestos. The most common are linoleum flooring and vinyl asbestos tile (VAT). VAT is most commonly found in either a 9x9 or a 12x12 square size. The 9x9 VATs are normally found in older buildings because they were manufactured earlier than the 12x12 VATs; however, floor tile sizes and resilient floor covering applications vary greatly since many buildings have been re-tiled several times.

Floor tiles that contain asbestos and are damaged and friable could pose an immediate health concern. Even flooring in good condition can become a concern when it is removed since asbestos fibers can become aerosolized. Most experts agree that if asbestos is found, a qualified asbestos firm should be contracted to safely remove the asbestos containing materials.

Its important to know if asbestos is present before beginning any floor tile removal project, reported Ed Cahill, Vice President, Asbestos Division at EMSL Analytical, one of the largest asbestos testing laboratories in North America. A quick and affordable test is all it takes to determine if flooring materials contain asbestos and EMSL provides sampling supplies, instructions and testing services.

EMSL has sponsored an educational video about asbestos dangers in the home. It can be viewed at:

People wishing to have their samples tested by EMSL should visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.



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