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Old 01-08-2009, 09:09 AM   #1
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Popcorn ceiling - hazardous to your health?

I have a mid-70's house with popcorn finished ceilings everywhere. I want to remove the popcorn and finish as a smooth ceiling in the kitchen, but have been cautioned to have the ceiling checked for asbestos. I understand that "all" popcorn finished ceilings prior to 1979 had asbestos, but have never before heard anything about it until I started to remove mine. Is it a real problem. What steps do I take to remove it myself or is this something that needs to be done by others?


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Old 01-08-2009, 09:18 AM   #2
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Not "ALL" popcorn ceilings before have 1979 have asbestos.

The only way to know for sure is to test it. Many Big Box stores and online places like Amazon, sell inexpensive asbestos test kits. With these kits, you must send away the test sample to a lab for testing. They can notify you by fax, or by mail.


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Old 01-09-2009, 11:59 AM   #3
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As stated by Atlantic, not ALL ceilings had it, but a large number of popcorn ceilings did. The only way to truly be certain is to have it tested. Also, 1979 is an arbitrary year. In fact I've never heard 1979 quoted as a manufacturing or installation breakpoint. Companies were prohibited from manufacturing the material, but were allowed to sell all material in stock until supplies were depleted. That would be closer to 1982. Therefore it would not be uncommon to find asbestos in material installed later than 1982. It is a real concern and if your test comes back positive, your issue will be first to protect yourself and your family from exposure. The next issue will become how to legally dispose of anything that you remove. It is considered a hazardous material by law and requires special handling and disposal, which you as a homeowner have no qualifications for. Your best bet will be to have it removed professionally and keep yourself out of a future legal nightmare. Self removal could cause a contamination issue within your home (a serious longrange health concern) and some serious legal ramifications if you go to sell the property.
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Old 01-10-2009, 12:56 PM   #4
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The cheaper alternative to professional asbestos "abatement" might be to cover your ceilings with another layer of drywall........
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