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Discussion Starter #1
I'm working on renovating a bathroom in a house built in 1958. How do I tell if the walls contain asbestos? It looks like 3/4 plaster or plasterboard. I've looked at the material and can't see any fibrous material visible to the naked eye. I'm not familiar with what wall products were used that contained asbestos and what they look like

Anyone have any tips
 

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I have worked with asbestos for many years. However it was not friable or airborne so I never gave it a second thought. An expert in asbestos abatement will likely respond soon. In the meantime here is my take. Don't disturb the material further until you know for sure that there is no asbestos present. When in doubt, assume the contaiminant is there. Remove a small sample and send it to a lab for analysis if recommended by an expert. The Internet can help you locate a lab. Close off the room using plastic and tape. If there are air vents tape them shut too. Launder any clothing that may have the particles on them. I expect someone to suggest that such a cautious approach is not needed. I would not panic but I would take it seriously. Asbestos was once commonly used in many products such as floor tiles and pipe wrap and the absence of visible fibers is not conclusive. I have seen asbestos under a microscope and each fiber had tiny barbs like fishhooks. It is my understanding that those barbs make it difficult to exhale the fibers once they enter the lungs. The age of the material may offer a clue as to the likelihood that asbestos is present.
 

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I am surprised that no one else has responded yet. Therefore I would proceed with having a sample tested. An alternative would be to ask an asbestos abatement company to send an agent to come in and evaluate the situation and make recommendations -probably the better way to go anyway. Do not proceed with demolition using paper dust masks. They are ok for cutting wood or demolition involving ordinary drywall but just not good enough when it comes to asbestos. Good luck.
 

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I am surprised that no one else has responded yet. Therefore I would proceed with having a sample tested. An alternative would be to ask an asbestos abatement company to send an agent to come in and evaluate the situation and make recommendations -probably the better way to go anyway. Do not proceed with demolition using paper dust masks. They are ok for cutting wood or demolition involving ordinary drywall but just not good enough when it comes to asbestos. Good luck.
Thanks. I'm sending a sample out for testing.
 

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You are welcome. Better safe than sorry. Hope it is negative for asbestos.
 

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OP reported that the test was negative for asbestos. Posted in Drywall and Plaster as well.
 
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