I wonder if there are ways to tell if there are asbestos in vinyl or linoleum flooring sheet (not tiles). We removed them from our 1987 house and now we are a bit concerned.

From what I can gather, the vinyl flooring sheet if it had asbestos at all, would be in a separate paper backing. I don't recall seeing such a backing.

I also cannot find any definitive info on whether, or when, asbestos was banned from vinyl flooring products. I understand asbestos was banned from dry wall compounds and spray-able ceiling products in the late 70s.

Please advise.

  • 4
    The only reliable way to tell is to have them tested at a lab that has facilities for that. If you've already removed the potentially asbestos containing product, though, it's a bit late to worry. Generally speaking, the concern with asbestos is when it's stirred up the little fibers become airborne and you breathe them in. It's possible, though highly unlikely that a one-time exposure such as yours would cause any long-term health effects. Those who were most effected were those working with it for years without protection. Basically, there's nothing much you can do at this point (con't)
    – FreeMan
    Dec 15, 2020 at 20:34
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    so there's no point in wasting energy worrying about it. Yes, you could potentially get sick 30 or 40 years from now, but, if there's enough in your system to cause that to happen, you can't (to my knowledge) get it out, so knowing won't "fix" anything. What's done is done, time to move on.
    – FreeMan
    Dec 15, 2020 at 20:35
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    @freeman make that an answer / combine your comments. Most contractors had stopped using asbestos my the mid 70’s but they were banned ~84 , I agree with freeman it’s done don’t worry that will make you sick much faster! I removed a bunch of asbestos tile, insulation, siding and popcorn ceilings before it was regulated and I am a great grampa now so I don’t think you have to worry about a possible minor exposure. It is naturaly occurring, my brother had to pay while digging a pool for monitoring for it in Northern California.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 15, 2020 at 21:50
  • how could a house built after the ban contain asbestos?
    – dandavis
    Dec 15, 2020 at 23:18
  • @FreeMan Great comment. !+ A few days ago I voiced a similar opinion. Rare and minor asbestos exposure has been blown way out of proportion. Industrial workers installing it where the ones truly at risk. Dec 16, 2020 at 14:18

1 Answer 1


A: Lab test is the only way.

B: In most parts of the civilized world, 1987 is VERY late for still having asbestos in any building product.

C: You already removed it, which means you already handled it and made whatever dust there was to be made. Can't put that genie back in the bottle. However, See item B, as well as know that chronic exposure is much more of an issue than a one-time short-term event in the asbestos risk profile.

  • There could be asbestos in the blue too. Sanding and scraping the glue is a bigger issue.
    – Lee Sam
    Dec 15, 2020 at 23:18

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