Galley 7 – Composite Products
Asbestos Plastics, Resin, Bitumen and Vinyl
Thermoplastic floor tiles, PVC vinyl floor tiles, and unbacked PVC flooring. Asbestos paper-backed PVC floors. Magnesium oxychloride flooring was used in WCs, staircases and industrial settings. Reinforced PVC cladding. Reinforced plastic and resin was used for toilet cisterns, seats, banisters, window seals, and lab bench tops. Asbestos bitumen coatings (car body underseals, gutter linings, floor adhesive and wall coverings).
Asbestos content and type / date last used:
Thermoplastic floor tiles contain up to 20% asbestos. PVC tiles and flooring normally contain 7% chrysotile (white) asbestos. Magnesium flooring contains about 2% asbestos. Panels and cladding contain 1%-10% asbestos. Reinforced resins and plastics usually contain 1%-10% chrysotile (white) asbestos. Some amphiboles were used to give improved acid resistance – for example in car batteries. Adhesives (used up to 1992) may contain up to a few percent chrysotile (white) asbestos. Bitumen coatings (used up to 1992) normally contain 8% chrysotile (white) asbestos.
Ease of fibre release and product names:
Asbestos floor tiles and coverings are unlikely to release fibre under normal service conditions, but fibre may be released when the material is cut. Plastics and resins are unlikely to release fibre, and have limited emissions during cutting. Bitumen is unlikely to release fibre – however glues and sealants must not be burned after removal.