How to Know If You Have Asbestos Backed Linoleum

Asbestos, a known carcinogen, was commonly used both within and on the back of linoleum tiles for several decades. If your linoleum was installed after 1980, it is unlikely that it contains asbestos. If you are unsure, the best way to find out is to send a sample to an accredited lab for testing. If your linoleum comes back positive for asbestos, you will need to hire a qualified contractor to remove and dispose of the linoleum, or leave it in place.

Things You'll Need

  • Mask
  • Gloves
  • 2 zippper close bags
  • Utility knife


    • 1

      Protect yourself. Always take precautions and wear gloves and a mask when handling lineoleum that may contain asbestos.

    • 2

      Cut a sample of the linoleum. Use the utility knife to cut a sample about four inches long and four inches wide. Use the utility knife to pry the sample up from the floor.

    • 3

      Package sample. Place the sample into a zipper-close sandwich bag, and check that the bag is closed. Double bag the sample as an added precaution.

    • 4

      Take the sample for testing by a lab accredited by the U. S. government. (See the link below to find a lab near you.) Contact the lab prior to taking them your sample, and inquire about any special instructions they may have for you.

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