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Old 08-08-2016, 02:11 PM   #1
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Asbestos material in Airstream

Having recently been through an asbestos abatement in my current residence, I would like to avoid this process before purchasing an airstream. Is anyone aware of airstream's policies regarding asbestos materials (linoleum, insulation, caulking, etc.) and what year trailer might be considered asbestos free?
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Old 08-08-2016, 02:24 PM   #2
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9x9 floor tiles in old trailers is not uncommon
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Old 08-08-2016, 02:33 PM   #3
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If it has asbestos tile the easiest thing to do is cover it up with a new floor.
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Old 08-08-2016, 02:52 PM   #4
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Any floor tiles older than 1986 could contain asbestos. Floor tiles manufactured after 1986 should not contain asbestos.

Asbestos is not necessarily hazardous. FRIABLE asbestos is hazardous because it sheds fibers that you can inhale. Unbroken asbestos floor tiles are not friable and can be left in place indefinitely, as long as they remain undamaged. Asbestos can be mitigated either by removal or by encapsulation. Encapsulation doesn't really solve the problem, it just postpones it, so I won't address that.

Because unbroken floor tiles are not considered friable, removal and disposal is relatively simple for the owner— no need to hire a professional as you would with friable asbestos:
(1) wear a dust mask and safety goggles to keep any stray asbestos fibers out of your lungs and eyes. Wear clothes that you don't mind throwing away, and cover all exposed skin. Tyvek® coveralls with built-in hood and booties are best, but any disposable clothes will work;
(2) coat each tile with Gillette Foamy® shave cream or similar. This serves to trap any fibers that might break free of the tiles during handling (fibers trapped in shave cream don't get into the air), though it is messy. If you break a tile as you're removing it, immediately spray more shave cream on the broken edges before pulling up the tile;
(3) as each tile is removed, bag it in a heavy-duty transparent plastic bag.
(4) when each bag gets full, tape it shut, completely, to prevent fibers from escaping if a tile gets broken in the bag;
(5) put each taped-shut bag in another bag and tape it shut as well. Label the outside bag with a Sharpie® marker as to what it contains;
(6) because the tiles are both non-friable and double-bagged, they can be tossed in any landfill. You don't need to take them to a "secure" landfill for disposal— except maybe in California where they tend to take environmental regulations to draconian extremes;
(7) when you're done, double-bag the clothes and dust mask you were wearing and throw them away as well, just in case you got fibers on them.
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Old 08-08-2016, 03:28 PM   #5
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This is a GENERAL observation!

Trailers built prior to 1969-1970 most likely will have ACM (Asbestos Containing Materials) of some sort. After 1970 it is more hit an miss. The floor tiles and various caulking and sealants are the culprits. Some linoleum sheet goods have it in the backing.

As long as you don't break the stuff up, sand or dry scrub it you shouldn't have any issues. Supposedly it became illegal to sell most products containing asbestos after 1986. However stuff still slips by. I was on a building built in 2001 and it had ACM in it...

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Old 08-08-2016, 03:33 PM   #6
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Some earlier models (late 50's) had asbestos padding as insulation around the stovetops.
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Old 08-09-2016, 11:26 AM   #7
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Thanks

Thanks all for your input. The situation in our home was that some older materials that seemed suspicious turned out to be asbestos free, and some newer materials tested positive. My understanding is that manufacturers were allowed to use up supplies even after the end date, and even now, some asbestos sneaks in from foreign countries. I was hoping airstream had a date when you could reliably feel like your trailer didn't contain it. I have had all the exposure I really care to have.
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Old 08-09-2016, 02:05 PM   #8
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The only people ever harmed by it were the ones blowing the stuff into ships and boilers.
It was a BIG hype in the late 80s to remove it from schools and the flooring co I worked for made MILLIONS replacing it.
I have vintage asbestos pot trivets I think are a hoot and scare people with them often LOL.
It was used as a binder in old black mastic glue so even if the tile has none the glue might so just MAKE NO DUST and keep things wet! Or encapsulate it with 1/4 luan and a new floor!
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Old 08-09-2016, 06:35 PM   #9
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Having dealt with asbestos in my plant I can say all the things noted above are correct. Asbestos is not like cyanide...it isn't immediately life threatening, and a few asbestos fibers will not likely cause lung cancer, any more the playing in the sand on a beach (Silica...watch out!!!!!) Be careful with the floor tiles, but don't be panicked. I don't see caulking as an issue unless it is so dry it needs to be ground out!. Use a good quality dust mask and keep the material wet with dish soap and water while working on it! All the lung disease associated with asbestos is (usually) due to years of exposure, and Mesothelioma is almost entirely die to African Blue which never was used in consumer products
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
-- snip -- (1) wear a dust mask -- snip --
Pro - a step back

A hardware store paper dust mask will not stop particles the microscopic size of asbestos. A respirator with asbestos rated cartridges will stop them. Make sure it fits tightly on the face.

Work safe. Pat
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:56 PM   #11
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A hardware store paper dust mask will not stop particles the microscopic size of asbestos. A respirator with asbestos rated cartridges will stop them.
This is true, and I stand corrected.

However, you can't just go out and buy a respirator. Respirators have to be fit-tested in order to ensure a good seal to the wearer's face. And because a respirator provides a significant impediment to breathing, the wearer really ought to consult a physician to ensure that he is physically capable of breathing through a respirator. When I worked for the Corps of Engineers I worked with a certified industrial hygienist who was in charge of our workers' medical surveillance program, and there were people— myself included thanks to preexisting lung damage— who were not physically capable of using a respirator without winning a trip to a hospital emergency room.

Fortunately, even regulation-happy California only requires the use of respirators when the expected airborne asbestos concentration exceeds 0.1 fiber per cubic centimeter (1 fiber per ten cubic centimeters). If the OP keeps all asbestos-containing materials completely soaked with soapy water throughout the removal and bagging process, the expected airborne concentration will be zero, and a respirator should not be required.

Caution is good, and I thank you for correcting me. The dust mask I suggested is intended to prevent accidental ingestion of soapy water containing asbestos fibers in the event of a splash.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:01 AM   #12
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Thanks all for your input.
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