Most people don't expect their old vinyl floor to be loaded with asbestos. Along with lead and mold, asbestos is one of three big household health threats that can become even bigger when disturbed or exposed during a renovation. And while having any one of these can be bad for you, so can getting rid of it.

A mineral valued for its fire resistance and tensile strength, asbestos can cause scarring of the lungs (asbestosis) or cancer when its shardlike fibers are inhaled. Banned from building materials in 1972, it can still turn up in the aforementioned floor tiles, as well as in insulation, plaster, mastic, ceiling tiles, caulk, and dozens of other products. See how to deal with it and when to call in a pro to remove it!

Don't worry, in response to health concerns, some vinyl flooring is now certified to meet strict standards for indoor air quality. Read all about vinyl flooring.
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