Bead blasting of floor tile mastic on concrete floors leaves the cleanest surface but there are a number of considerations. Not all abatement contractors have bead blasting machines so they have to rent the equipment. Also the bead blasting machine cannot clean all the way to the edge of a wall so a floor grinder with a special scarifying blade should be employed. The grinder must be equipped with a cowl connected to a HEPA vacuum. A thin section of mastic will remain in the corner but the majority of that can be removed with a scraper. The major concern with Bead Blasting and grinding is dust control. The area must be under negative air pressure and adequate wetting must be employed. The project requires full containment and the mastic debris will be friable, requiring disposal as hazardous waste.
Larry Myers worked 40 years as an electrician, unaware he had been handling materials that could cause his death.
For the past two years, the 78-year-old man from Northern Indiana has been embroiled in a contentious legal battle against a number of manufacturers who he claims knowingly produced products that caused malignant pleural mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that typically kills within a year of diagnosis. Myers was diagnosed on March 17, 2014, 15 years after he retired.
The cancer, doctors told him, resulted from years of exposure to asbestos in materials he had used, worked with and been around as an electrician. He also smoked a brand of cigarettes that had filters containing asbestos, according to court records.
The complex litigation reached the Indiana Supreme Court in early 2015. At issue is the constitutionality of a section of Indiana’s Product Liability Act called the statute of repose, which created a 10-year cutoff for allowing plaintiffs to sue manufacturers of asbestos-containing products. According to the statute, the 10-year countdown starts when a product reaches a user or consumer.
That posed a problem for Myers. Mesothelioma and other diseases caused by exposure to asbestos take decades to manifest themselves, sometimes up to 50 years. Indiana denied Myers any legal recourse because he became sick after the 10-year cutoff had passed. And unlike the state’s statute of limitations, which starts from the time a person discovers an injury, the repose could expire well before the injury occurs or is discovered.
“They could be injured, but there (are) no symptoms. That’s the problem,” said Linda George, one of Myers’ lawyers. “They’re sick, but they don’t know.”
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12-inch by 12-inch or 9-inch by 9-inch vinyl or asphalt Floor Tile…
OSHA says all asphalt or vinyl floor tile installed prior to 1980 is Presumed (PACM) to contain asbestos unless sampling proves otherwise. Pretty much all 9-inch by 9-inch contains some amount of asbestos. Typically, it contains less than 5% Chrysotile asbestos. It is common for 12-inch by 12-inch to also contain asbestos especially if it was installed prior to 1980. It is usually less than 3% Chrysotile asbestos.
Floor tile mastic often contains asbestos whether or not the vinyl or asphalt floor tile contains asbestos. This mastic is usually black in appearance and has been applied with a serrated trowel. It is not uncommon for this material to contain Tremolite asbestos but most often will contain Chrysotile asbestos between trace (1% or less) and 3%.