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DIY Enthusiasts: Beware of Floor Tiles Containing Asbestos

floor_tilesDo-it-yourself enthusiasts often take on home improvement projects in order to enliven the aesthetic appeal of their houses. If you count yourself among these hobbyists, you recognize the joy of painting, gardening or building your own furniture. However, you need to remember that asbestos is the principal cause of mesothelioma, and that construction materials in older houses may contain this hazardous material.

For example, Patty Packrat, a columnist for the Loveland Reporter-Herald in Colorado, warns readers that some floor tiles may have been manufactured with asbestos. If these products are disturbed during home renovation products, they may release asbestos fibers into the air, which can become dangerous if inhaled.

“If you’re not sure whether your tile might contain friable asbestos you can consult a licensed asbestos expert to take samples for analysis. If it is found you may want to hire a licensed asbestos contractor to remove the material legally and safely,” the columnist wrote.

The Environmental Protection Agency notes that undamaged asbestos products generally pose no threat if they are left undisturbed. However, it is important to limit the number and types of activities that go on around the asbestos, especially if children live in the home. Never use power tools on these products, and instead of dusting or sweeping debris in these areas, use a wet mop.

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