For a majority of the 20th century, asbestos waswidely used in the construction and industrial industries as well as for commercial uses. One of the many ways it was used in construction was as an ingredient in vinyl floor tiles that were installed on top of the cement floors in new structures.
Up until the 1970s, vinyl floor tiles were the first choice of contractors and developers for their new homes. The price was low, they were easy to get, and they were ideal insulators because they were not good conductors of heat. Consequently, many pre-1970s homes probably have vinyl floor tiles that contain toxic asbestos fibers. The same is true of commercial and industrial buildings built during this time, including many public schools.
As long as these asbestos-containing tiles are not broken, torn, or removed the asbestos does not present a high risk. But over time heavy foot traffic can cause these floors to break down and send the dangerous fibers into the air. It is even more dangerous when these tiles are buffed, sanded, or removed. Being exposed to asbestos can have consequences since it can cause serious medical conditions like mesothelioma, lung cancers, and asbestosis.