Asbestos is still an ingredient in nearly 3,500 different products, including floor tile, linoleum and related adhesives. Part of the reason is due to legislation known as the “Grace Rule.” This is federal legislation written not by Congress, but by lobbyists for the W.R. Grace Corporation, essentially stating that if a product contains less than 1% asbestos, it is legally “asbestos free” – allowing asbestos corporations to continue making profits with a product clearly shown to be detrimental to human health.
Linoleum and floor tile products are usually non-friable, meaning that they do not produce dust. However, as such products age, they are liable to become friable – prone to crumbling, which in turn can release asbestos fibers into the air. Linoleum and floor tile installers should be aware of this when replacing aged and worn flooring.