Asbestos in concrete?

Discussion in 'Bricks, Masonry and Concrete' started by Andrew0855, Apr 2, 2019.

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  1. Apr 2, 2019 #1

    Andrew0855

    Andrew0855

    Andrew0855

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    Hey all. I was helping a friend dig up an old wooden parquet style floor in a foreclose he bought. The house was built in 1966. While digging up the wood panels a lot of dust was in the air, and thinking it was just concrete I didn't have a ventilator. Does anyone know if they use to put asbestos in the type of adhesive used back then for wood panels floors?
     
  2. Apr 2, 2019 #2

    Snoonyb

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    Not normally.
     
  3. Apr 2, 2019 #3

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    People worry about asbestos but none of the dusts you encounter in demo work of an old house are too good for you. Even new materials like sanding drywall mud.


    I wouldn’t worry about it but get at least some paper dust masks and keep them around to use if you are going to be helping him much.
     
  4. Apr 2, 2019 #4

    Andrew0855

    Andrew0855

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    Thanks
     
  5. Apr 4, 2019 #5

    pjones

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    Paper dust masks are a joke. They are better suited for protecting other people for yourself. Get a proper face mask (most box stores sell them) if you are doing work like that. If the mask doesn’t fit properly around your face then you are only fooling yourself into thinking you are protecting your body when you are probably only doing very little at best.
     
  6. Apr 4, 2019 #6

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    I actually agree with this. But I have also seen many people like the OP that go it with nothing because they don’t want to pay the $25-$100 for something decent with replicable filter cartridges. Or they do the bandana trick.


    Paper masks are dust masks and are not intended for asbestos abatement or toxic paint fumes. They are minimum level protection and after you wear one for an hour you can clearly see that they have stopped a lot (not all) dust from entering your lungs.


    Facial hair is a problem with any device except a full hood.


    If you are dealing with many airborne issues your lungs are only part of the problem you need to be aware of your eyes and skin being in contact as well.


    They call it PPE personal projection equipment for a reason it is personal. In a business setting you have no choice by law you have to do things in a certain way. As a DIYer you have to do what you think is best. These DIY projects normally end up with a half dozen friends and family coming to help, as was the case of the OP. Everyone should bring their own respirator mask but almost no one has one. In those cases and when you are sure you are just dealing with general household dusts it is nice to have some cheap work gloves, safety eye protection, and minimal paper dust masks to offer people.


    Higher level protection is of course better.
     
  7. Apr 5, 2019 #7

    WyrTwister

    WyrTwister

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    Yep , 100% .

    Rember the old phrase , If I had known I was going to live this long , I would have taken better care of myself .

    Wyr
    God bless
     
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  8. Apr 5, 2019 #8

    pjones

    pjones

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    I do wish homeowners would value their health for what it’s worth. I know what you mean about seeing the paper dust mask getting dirty with use, and it would work well with large articles like when working in a wood shop or metal shop but when dealing with silica dust from concrete and asbestos then the particles that you are trying to stop are small enough to go right through the paper masks. It will only filter out the large chunks of concrete making the dirt load up on the mask but it’s not actually stoping the stuff that you are really concerned about.

    To have an abatement company come in and remove the asbestos is going to be a very expensive job, easily multiple Of thousands. Spending a couple hundred dollars on protective equipment for themselves and the people helping is still only going to cost a very small fraction in comparison to paying someone to do it. The cost of the personal protective equipment needs to be built into the cost of the job, that is usually where homeowners go wrong because they look at it as an additional expense.

    I think if people are going to come here for advice then we tell them how to do the job safely instead of assuming they aren’t going to be willing to spend the money to protect their health. They might not know that a paper mask is insufficient to protect from asbestos. If we let them know that it won’t protect them and they choose to use a paper mask anyway then that is their informed choice to make. We can’t help them at that point. But we should be careful not to miss lead them into thinking it’s doing something that it’s not.

    I laugh when people are willing to spend $1000 on a smart phone but not willing to spend $8 on a pair of safety glasses when they do a job. A lot of good that phone will do them if they can’t see after...

    That being said, you should have a full body suit and face mask. When the work is done at the end of the day hose yourself off and discard the suit with the rest of the asbestos, before taking off your mask. Bag the outside of your mask cartrages so entrapped particulate can’t fall back out, and set it aside to dry out since it will be moist from the humidity of breathing. Repeat following day two and so on...
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
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  9. Apr 8, 2019 #9

    bud16415

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    I was watching a new this old house the other night and they were going to dig a basement deeper. They had a pro crew in to do the floor demo looked like about 6-10 guys and jackhammers and a lot of grunt work. They were tearing into it as the show ended and the whole crew had on disposable paper masks. They looked to be the type with a little exhaust port in the front.
     
  10. Apr 9, 2019 #10

    pjones

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    For general demo where asbestos is not a concern then those would be my minimum recommendation (the ones with the exhaust port) provided they fit right.

    As a general note for the OP,
    Asbestos was in so many different adhesives, fillers, and glue products it’s hard to say for certain if it was used in the product that you demolished. If you are uncertain it is best to have it tested. We can often provide you with a “most likely” answer but if the response includes anything like “generally no, probably not, most often it won’t”,etc... then it means that there is still a chance that it could contain it and it should be tested to be sure.
     
  11. Apr 9, 2019 #11

    Sparky617

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    Grinding or cutting concrete can put all kinds of nasty stuff into the air but I don't think asbestos is one of them. If there were tiles applied to the concrete the adhesive or the tiles could very well have it in though if built before they banned asbestos in the late 1970's.

    You should protect your lungs with a proper filter. Paper filters are essentially worthless for construction dust. I find their function is mainly designed to fog my glasses making it harder to see what I'm doing.

    If you're renovating an old house you definitely can run into lead paint and asbestos in a variety of materials. If it was built after 1980 probably not so much.
     
  12. Apr 9, 2019 #12

    pjones

    pjones

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    In Canada (I think US is similar in this way) products were not allowed to be manufactured in Canada with asbestos when it was banned in the 70s BUT products with asbestos could still be used in the construction of a house all the way up to 1995. Our last asbestos mine was finally closed down in 2005 but asbestos is still being mined heavily in other locations because it is still being used to make items in other parts of the world. If you buy something from China online then it can contain asbestos in it and it is legal for you to buy. You are not allowed to buy that product off the shelf of a local store but you can bring it across the border by yourself.

    For a long time I thought i was safe working on houses built after the 70s or 80s, until we received training about asbestos at our company and they explained how prevalent it still is and how common it is to still find.

    Before the training I didn’t realize it was in drywall mud, or a long list of adhesives used in construction ranging from products from flooring to ductwork, roofing, siding products and more. Pretty much every trade had it in their products in some way or another. Some products are less friable than others but should still be a concern if being worked on, just not necessary to remove it for safety if you are not going to touch it.
     
  13. Apr 10, 2019 #13

    WyrTwister

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    I was / am under the impression it was no longer used in the USA , after the 70's . I may be wrong .

    When attending a pre-bid conference on renovation of an older building , it is always gone over verbally and is in the specifications and in the bid documents / contract .

    Often the abatement is done , by the owner , prior to construction starting . This can be pretty expensive ! :-(

    We are told , if asbestos is found / suspected , after construction commences , stop everything and notify the chain of command . It can be tested and dealt with if the test prove positive .

    My Dad was in the Navy during WWII . He died of Mesothelioma . We figure he was exposed during the final phases of finish out of his ship . USS Iowa .

    I know I have been exposed to asbestos found in brake dust , from older cars . So , far , it has not shown up , in my lungs , as Mesothelioma . Then there is what ever I may have been exposed to in construction .
     

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