I pulled up some moldy flooring and found some slightly damp plywood boards underneath. Underneath that was some 12 x 12 tile. I put on a respirator and pulled up about 4-8 sq ft of the stuff. Anyway a lot of the tile broke up into fragments as it was nailed down, I wet the fragments and vacuumed it up using a rigid shop vac with a hepa filter. I took the trash outside and bagged it. Now I realize a hepa filter in a shopvac does not a hepa vaccum make. I also should have vented the exhaust outside but I didn’t.

This was all in the kitchen at my home, wife coming home soon, I wiped down surfaced and have a fan blowing out the door, anything else I can do? Do you think I created a huge mess by vacuuming up the broken fragments with the shopvac and hepa filter?

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Any answer here is going to be some flavor of "Maybe"; there's not much else we could tell from a distance. Feb 7 '19 at 0:58
  • you had it wet, that would have helped.
    – Jasen
    Feb 7 '19 at 2:34
  • 1
    12×12 tiles may have had asbestos, prior to knowing the dangers we ripped out many asbestos containing materials without even a dust mask. Of the 9 guys that worked for my dad 4 made into there 80's and none have had any asbestos related issues the same for me and my brother. I would not make a habit of doing this work without proper protection, but also would wipe things down wash clothes etc and in the future plan a bit better. Each exposure increases the risk but there were those that worked in the plants making this stuff for years that never had problems, just don't want to increase risks
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 7 '19 at 15:53
  • Are you sure it contained asbestos?
    – Jeff Cates
    Feb 10 '19 at 22:15

It is impossible to quantify the risk of disease from a single exposure but it is generally considered an issue for those who have had regular or repeated occupational exposure to asbestos over years.

You won't know for sure for a couple of decades but I wouldn't worry. Live your life and know that using wet handling methods significantly decreased whatever risk there was.

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