Asbestos carpet underlay....?

Hey Folks.

Pulling up carpet in an old place at the moment....anyone know what asbestos underlay looks like? Bit concerned that this joint may have it as the carpets are from the dark ages...

Cheers.
ArJay:)
 
I didn't even have a clue that there was a possibility.

According to About Home Repair. you can't tell by looking- have it tested.

Also worth noting:
What about the mastic? That depends on whether the stuff is still pliable or not. In other words, if the adhesive holding your tile or carpet down stretches into long strings as you pull the old covering up, it's probably still got the asbestos so tightly bonded that there's a minimal risk of hazardous exposure. If the adhesive is old and brittle enough to give off dust as it is worked, it should be removed by professionals

I don't know if you had a building inspection done. That probably should have raised potential problems.

It's worth while using Google to search. If it is asbestos, there's too much at stake.
 
ArJay

I don't think there was asbestos carpet underlay, but I stand to be corrected.

The grey, off-white or whatever coloured thin sheeting material was type of cardboard or in better installations, felt, I thought. Similar stuff was used for continuous lino. Sometimes newspaper was used in lieu to save costs.

The back of some rubber floor tiles had some asbestos strands and fibro (asbestos sheeting) was used to cover floors where there was movement.

It would be interesting to know if any asbestos underlay was ever used. Where did you get your information?


I think there needs to be some discrimination between what carpet and lino layers call underlay (ie the rubber or previously cardboard or felt material) and the fibrecement, fibro or hardboard sheeting nailed or screwed to floors to stabilise the floor boards. It is common to call this sheeting 'underlay sheeting' so it can be confusing. Asbestos cement (fibro) sheeting was not uncommon under tiled floors but I wouldn't usually expect it under a carpet where a bit of movement doesn't matter that much.
 
Thanks for the replies guys..

Cheers especially Geoff for the link to About Home Repair that you provided.

I ended up masking-up etc just incase....but perhaps I will have to take a sample away for someone to have a look at when it comes time to dispose of the mountains of underlay.

What got me started on this was when I mentioned what I was up too to the guy who's coming in to polish the floors. He warned me to watch out for asbestos underlay...(must say that I was a bit like WTF?) Anyway he's an older bloke who's been a tradesman since Adam was a tot so I thought I'd better listen up...he'll be around at the place tom morn so I might pick his brains and show him the underlay as well.

Called my father who's a carpenter last night as well and he said he'd seen it but it was pretty rare. He also advised the same tho....get it checked out! He's pretty worried about the whole asbestos thing as he's into his sixties now and remembers the days when they used to hack into all manner of material; Super six, Hardiflex, etc, etc, dust flying everywhere, enclosed spaces, you name it.... Guess they don't makem like they used to. Old school, tough as nails......

ArJay:)
 
Not for one second do I suggest that asbostos should be taken lightly but there is a "randomness" involved. The same one smokers use to justify their dangerous habit. You've all heard it: "Dad smoked till he was 80 but Aunt Ethel (a non-smoker) died of lung cancer".

If "Exposure means DEATH" then I, and all mechanics over 50 would have departed by now. To a man we blew (asbestos) dust with an air hose before cleaning with solvents. (They're gunna kill me too!) Of course it will happen! LOL

All I'm saying is to use your fridge magnet, be aware but not alarmed.

Bill
 
well ... i don't know ... i have never heard of asbestos in carpet underlay
there was asbestos in the old vinyl's ... 28% from memory ...

... geez just get a good face mask .. rip it up and move on.

you know.. the more you avoid these things the more your body has no chance of building a resistance to them ....

just stop worrying and live a little ....

rossv
 
rossv said:
well ... i don't know ... i have never heard of asbestos in carpet underlay
there was asbestos in the old vinyl's ... 28% from memory ...

... geez just get a good face mask .. rip it up and move on.

you know.. the more you avoid these things the more your body has no chance of building a resistance to them ....

just stop worrying and live a little ....

rossv


Hmmm...not sure how much an immune response it is Ross rather than your bodys reaction to a material irritant so don't think you "build up a resistance" as such....if that were the case there sure wouldn't be all the uproar and law suits coming the way of James Hardie etc.

As you said I've already "masked up" and "ripped it up" but it's not that I'm concerned about, it's more about how to dispose of it. I not going to cop any hazards but it's Joe Blow down the line who's driving the tracktor at the dump, or your kid who's rooting around while you're unloading your hard rubbish who may be going to their grave early........:confused:

ArJay:)
 
I was once involved with some market research- in the early 70s. The company plied you with beer, and then paid you (what a difficult job!).

The questions they asked were not "is this product dangerous?"- it was "Do you perceive tbis product to be dangerous?"- and then "what would you need to be given to perceive this porduct as safe? Would a face mask help your perception?"
 
Occupational Hygiene

Hello Gentlemen, I am an Industrial Hygienist from Queensland Laboratory. I have noticed your posts regarding asbestos in carpet underlay. the issue has come about due to a news article on ABC's 7:30 Report last night http://www.queenslandlab.com/news_detail.php?id=31

Basically James Hardie has just release some information that states that the hessian bags that were used to transport the asbestos from the mine sites were then recycled and re-used in a number of industries... One being hessian carpet underlay. The risk of asbestos exposure from this material is moderate, mainly as the asbestos type they are concerned with is crocidolite (blue) mined primarily from Wittenoon. Based on current data, Mesothelioma is attributed almost soley to this mineral form of asbestos (i.e. amphibole) and so in general terms this is the worst of a bad bunch.

It was stated in the forum not to panic... This is exactly correct. Generally the stress is worst for you in these cases than the actual risk... If you are going to remove carpet that is more than 30years old, simply grab a small sample of the hessian material and send it to a NATA accredited lab for analysis before you start. If its positive, get an asbestos removalist to take the stuff away, and if its negative go for gold. Due to the large amounts of dust generated from this process, dust masks should generally be worn in any case. I hope this helps.
 
We've never had an Industrial Hygenist here. Welcome.

That 7.30 Report story got a fiar bit of air play on ABC radio this morning. The idea of sending stuff to a lab to get it tested is always mentioned. You probably just take it to work. How easy is it for people like us to get things tested? Where do we go? Do we have to wait months for a result? Renovators are usually keen to get stuck into a job.

Scott
 
Testing is easy. There will be a NATA lab close by that can test the material. As an example, our labs charge $55 including GST and guarantee results in 48hrs. Some however can be up to $200 with some even charging a 100% surcharge for results requested in less than a week. Either or, most capital cities have labs. All you do is break a bit off with a dust mask on, put it in a zip top Glad bag and then post it to the lab with your details... Its best to keep the material wet too.
 
......Hello Gentlemen, I am an Industrial Hygienist from Queensland Laboratory. I have noticed your posts regarding asbestos in carpet underlay. the issue has come about due to a news article on ABC's 7:30 Report last night........

Well, we do have some real soothsayers in here then. You have actually found a forum thread from 2006 - 3 and half years ahead of the event!!!
 
My father worked in the building trade and died of Mesothelioma at 62 yrs old.(6 yrs ago) It was a slow, horrible, undignified and painful death.

You dont build a resistance to asbestosis related diseases. You MAY if you are lucky have the plaques sit in your body and not react, and you may die WITH asbestosis but not necessarily from it.

Many are not so lucky.

My advice is to take all precautions necessary. Dont take it lightly guys, your families need you, and saving a couple of hundred dollars against being safe is a no-brainer......

Luvvit.
 
With regard to the post thing... Until the material has been identified as ACM, the carpet underlay or hessian for example it is not a hazardous material or dangerous goods... It is merely hessian. Its a bit of a grey area, however, provided the material is safely bagged it should not be an issue.
 
Just wondering if vacuuming carpet over the dreaded underlay can be hazardous. I use a Dyson with a beater-head, we've been joking there would be nothing left of the carpet because it picks up enormous quantities of dust every time.
 
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