Some of these projects have been done by informed professionals and many more of these have been completed by do-it-yourselfers. What many homeowners may not realize is that some of these popcorn ceilings may contain asbestos.
Asbestos was used in some popcorn ceilings into the 1980s. Asbestos was banned from use in most household materials in the late 1970s, but businesses with existing materials were allowed to use up their inventory of materials on hand. In addition to asbestos being found in some popcorn ceiling materials, it may also be present in textured paints, and patching and joint compounds.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “You can't tell whether a material contains asbestos simply by looking at it, unless it is labeled. If in doubt, treat the material as if it contains asbestos or have it sampled and analyzed by a qualified professional. A professional should take samples for analysis, since a professional knows what to look for, and because there may be an increased health risk if fibers are released. In fact, if done incorrectly, sampling can be more hazardous than leaving the material alone. Taking samples yourself is not recommended.”
Sussex Environmental Health Consultants (SEHC), a leading Mid-Atlantic asbestos consulting company, has been helping property owners across the region determine if asbestos is in their home. Susan White, Ph.D., CMC, President of SEHC, stated “Few people realize that scraping off an old popcorn ceiling could expose their families to deadly asbestos fibers. These fibers, once inhaled, can take decades before their effects are seen in cases of lung cancer, mesothelioma and other respiratory diseases. Suspect materials in older homes should always be tested for asbestos before remodeling and renovation projects begin.”
SEHC has sponsored an educational video about asbestos dangers in the home. It can be seen at:
To learn more about Sussex Environmental Health Consultants or asbestos, environmental, indoor air quality (IAQ), and health and safety services, please visit http://www.sussexenvironmental.com, email susan.white@
About Sussex Environmental Health Consultants, LLC
SEHC is a certified woman owned business that provides environmental and health and safety consulting services. The company is located in the Mid-Atlantic and services clients nationwide. SEHC provides solutions to clients ranging from homeowners to international Fortune 500 Corporations.