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We recently moved into a new house and rolled up one of the carpets that was fraying. Under and attached to the carpet is a yellow powder does anyone know what this could be? Are we silly to be worried about asbestos?

Thank you for any helpenter image description here

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  • Age of house? Age of carpet? – Ecnerwal Jan 30 at 14:22
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Looks like degraded carpet glue.

Asbestos seems highly unlikely, but you can have it lab tested if you have asbestos-paranoia. If the house is less than 35-40 years old, it's exceedingly unlikely to have any asbestos anywhere. If it's older, it becomes more likely.

The "classic" asbestos-containing floor adhesive is "black mastic"

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This is the remnants of a cheap "rug gripper" type of underpad. They tend to slowly disintegrate just like this. It's almost certainly rubber. You should worry not about asbestos but more about the fact that your seller's approach to cleanliness involved lifting and cleaning under rugs at most once per decade but probably never. Sweep gently and wear a mask.

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  • You should worry not about asbestos but more about the fact that your seller's approach to cleanliness involved lifting and cleaning under rugs at most once per decade but probably never.” The question is about carpet not rugs, carpet is held down by tack strips. – Alaska Man Jan 30 at 14:59
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The yellow dust is not asbestos, but the pulverized remains of the padding placed there many years ago.

Over time and from many, many foot steps the resilient cushioning became dried and brittle. The continued trampling from thousands of shoes stomped it into dust.

It is easily cleaned-up. Although there is sometimes remnants stuck to the floor which can be wiped up by first applying a floor cleaner and using a damp rag.

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