Asbestos was once commonly used in floor tiles but since the late 1970s it has become less common. Floor tiles are still however present in many locations and tile fitters may have unwittingly become exposed to asbestos.
Think of asbestos and we think of loft insulation and other building materials. Think further about those that are most affected by asbestos related diseases, and we all probably reach the conclusion that it is those in the building trade and industrial sectors that are most affected.
That conclusion is largely right, the majority of asbestos related illnesses are from those that come into direct contact with asbestos through work, but there are cases of individuals being exposed to asbestos in the domestic setting.
When, how and where people come into contact with asbestos is harder to identify. Many who have the misfortune to have an asbestos related illness may find it hard to pin down exactly where they came into contact with asbestos and one area that is often overlooked is the level of asbestos that was present in some floor tiles.
Floor tiles were commonly made with asbestos until the late 1970s and where these floor tiles are still present in homes, the ageing process and degradation over time may have damaged the floor tiles, resulting in a release of airborne asbestos fibres. It is these fibres that are most associated with health risks.
Floor tile fitters in particular may have been exposed to asbestos, as at the time, there was little if any awareness of the hidden dangers of asbestos. There was an equal void in the provision of personal protective equipment that is largely used today by anyone dealing with, or potentially exposed, to asbestos.
Laying tiles always results in a few broken tiles and often needs tiles to be cut either manually or by machine. This is where the highest risk of asbestos fibres being release exists as cutting tiles always results in dust that is released.
If you believe you may have been exposed to asbestos through floor tiling please call us to speak to our specialist team in asbestos claims. You may be eligible to compensation for your asbestos exposure or the onset of an asbestos related illness.