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5 Hours with a Respirator Exposed to Asbestos

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Old 03-14-2011, 10:13 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 2
Starbreaker HB User
5 Hours with a Respirator Exposed to Asbestos

I am new to the boards, but have been obsessing/panicking about a recent asbestos exposure and wondering if I am over-reacting and should just relax. I have a 85 sqft laundry room that had vinyl sheet flooring which appeared original to the house (1973). I removed it wearing a P100 respirator (the paper one-time use ones with the respirator on the front) and watering it down the entire time. I actually did not know about asbestos in flooring previous to this, and was just taking these precautions for dust, but after I noted a bunch of white paper left stuck to the slab (well, gray since it was all soaked in water) I researched and panicked over the fact that it is likely asbestos paper backing! I immediately moved my family out of the house (even though this room had been sealed off from the rest of the house) and had an air sample taken today (aggressive sampling). My questions are two fold:

1) Obviously I will find out how safe the room/house is shortly, but how safe am I? Would this type of exposure cause serious problems? I have scoured the net and know that this is really a stupid question, but I can't help but ask. I am a very healthy 35 year old who runs, eats healthy, doens't smoke, and have never (to my knowledge) been exposed to asbestos prior.

2) Parts of the backing I know (and dust) is likely to have fallen in the grass outside the door of this room. I can't possibly get it all this a hazard for my family's health? I imagine most of the microscopic fibers would simply waft away with the wind, but just too unbalanced right now to accept that logic on my own.

Any info is appreciated.

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Old 03-16-2011, 09:33 AM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 2
Starbreaker HB User
Re: 5 Hours with a Respirator Exposed to Asbestos

As a follow up (and help for anyone who stumbles upon this post having their own panic attack)...I had the air in the laundry room tested using TEM and aggressive air sampling (box fan running for an hour while sample taken) and the results came back "None Detected" for asbestos or anything resembling asbestos fibers. The material removed came back at 20% asbestos containing. The asbestos technician who performed the test was very confident prior to sampling that this would be the case, as he says that flooring materials are very hard to make friable, even with scraping (due to how imbedded in the material they are) and the fact that I sprayed water on the material continuously basically negated any chances of them getting airborne if they did come loose. He said he had worked in abatement for several years and rarely, if ever, had seen vinyl flooring removal (even dry scraped) come back with fibers present in the air. So the moral of this story is, if you have done something stupid like I did, don't are probably fine. But make sure you get a TEM air sample taken (hopefully you have closed off the room to keep fibers from escaping, just in case) and use aggressive sampling just to ease your mind. Needless to say, despite this fortunate result, I will not be doing my own asbestos abatement in the future.

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