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Investigation of Historical Materials at Low Income Housing Projects

case_leg_investmaterialsA manufacturer of resilient flooring, who had in the past manufactured vinyl asbestos floor tile (VAT), asked us to determine if any of its VAT product had ever been installed in two low income housing projects (one in operation, one demolished) located in the Northeast.  We were also asked to determine the location, quantity, and the date of installation of any of their VAT located in the building.

Work on this project started with a search of the literature on the manufacturer’s products and dates of manufacture, and a search of public records for information regarding the design and construction of the housing projects.  The remaining building was inspected, and found to still contain the original resilient floor tile.  Patterns of the tile were compared to patterns of tile in our library of vinyl floor tile product data in order to determine the manufacturer.  An assessment of the resilient floor tile was conducted to determine the potential it had to expose residents or maintenance working to airborne asbestos.  A survey for other asbestos-containing materials was performed, and assessment made of their exposure potential.  Construction and maintenance practices in the remaining building were compared to those of the demolished building, which had been built and maintained under similar circumstances.

We were able to document areas of the surviving building where products of the manufacturer were found.  It was found that these materials were intact and continued to be non-friable and presented no exposure risk to occupants or maintenance staff.  Other, particularly friable, asbestos-containing materials in the building presented substantial exposure risks to occupants and maintenance personnel.  In addition, we were able to document the location of exposed accessible friable asbestos-containing materials that had been removed prior to the time of our inspect.