What is the "wet method" in asbestos handling?
March 26, 2019 2:04 PM   Subscribe

I work in a 1960s Cold War-era federal building that has asbestos. Last week, a couple of our floor tiles became loose and have to be replaced. From my understanding, there is asbestos in the adhesive used to originally apply the tiles. They plan to perform the replacement using the "wet method." What is the wet method in terms of asbestos handling, and how safe is it?
posted by invisible ink to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
Best answer: They spray the structure of the tile grout in filtered water. It is probably the least expensive way to remove asbestos but may not be allowed by the EPA via the Clean Air Act. They will still need to do a full builder's clean prior to hand-back. You should push for a transmission electron microscopy test of the area before hand-back.
posted by parmanparman at 2:36 PM on March 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks Parmanparman. I'm interested in learning more about why the EPA would not allow it under the Clean Air Act - if not too much trouble, can you elaborate more, or point me to a good link?
posted by invisible ink at 4:04 PM on March 26, 2019

Best answer: If vinyl asbestos tile, wet method to get rid of the mastic could also include west the mastic with solvent and sucking it up with a HEPA vac. I've seen this done on federally funded projects, though it has been a few years.
Most all asbestos containing mastic I have seen over the years has been black in color.
If the tiles are 9" x 9" rather than 12 x 12, that is highly suspect, though some 12 x 12's were also made with asbestos. Almost all the 9x9's were.
posted by rudd135 at 4:46 PM on March 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: https://www.epa.gov/asbestos/safe-work-practices
posted by parmanparman at 10:46 AM on March 27, 2019

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