When Should Popcorn Ceilings Be Tested for Asbestos

When Should Popcorn Ceilings Be Tested for Asbestos

When Should Popcorn Ceilings Be Tested for Asbestos

Popcorn ceilings had been common in households for a long time. American homes frequently had textured ceilings in the bedrooms and hallways. Homes constructed before the mid-1980s are likely to contain this stylizing method, which may contain asbestos fibers. Asbestos is extremely toxic and is known to cause cancer. Thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair, asbestos fibers can pose serious health risks.

Does Asbestos Exist in All Popcorn Ceilings?

Fortunately, asbestos is not present in every popcorn ceiling. However, looking at a ceiling cannot reveal the answer. If your home was constructed before 1977, the popcorn ceiling may contain asbestos. It is always a good idea to check the popcorn ceiling for asbestos, even if your home was built in the late 1980s. You never know if the spray-on texture contained any asbestos.

Have it tested by an industrial hygienist or environmental lab if you believe there is a chance that yours might contain asbestos.

Products for popcorn ceilings are also known as:

  • Acoustic ceiling
  • Blown-on ceiling
  • Cottage-cheese ceiling
  • Spray-on ceiling
  • Stipple ceiling
  • Stucco ceiling
  • Textured ceiling

How Can Asbestos in Popcorn Ceilings Be Tested?

To determine if your popcorn ceiling contains asbestos, you can either test it yourself, or have it professionally tested. If testing yourself, collect a sample to send to a lab for testing. Take precautions so you don’t breathe in the dust, by wearing a face covering, covering carpet with plastic, and wet-wiping the test area down after collecting the sample.

Who Is Most at Risk From Popcorn Ceiling Asbestos?

There are several ways that asbestos in popcorn ceilings could be ingested by someone. These at-risk groups consist of:

Construction experts: During construction, renovation, or demolition, people may come into contact with asbestos popcorn ceilings.

Families and property owners: A family could be exposed to asbestos ceilings in their home. At-home asbestos exposure can be reduced by removing or encapsulating popcorn ceilings.

Secondary Exposure: People should be aware of secondary exposure when coming into contact with someone who might have asbestos fibers on them. This often happens with spouses and families of asbestos workers.

Is it Time to Remove the Popcorn Ceiling?

If you find out that the ceiling in your home contains asbestos, don’t panic. If the asbestos in your popcorn ceiling is in good shape and not damaged, it usually won’t release fibers. However, if you see any damage or abrasions, or if you’re considering proceeding with a home renovation that could endanger the ceiling, you should have it removed.

Asbestos exposure at any level is considered unsafe for humans. Without following the correct asbestos abatement procedures, construction or demolition projects put workers and nearby occupants at risk for diseases related to asbestos. If you have been exposed and are experiencing symptoms, contact Goldberg, Persky & White P.C. today for a free case review.


Lisa “When to Test for Asbestos in Popcorn Ceilings” JSE LABS [Link]

Taylor Glenda, Vila Bob, “All You Need to Know About Popcorn Ceilings” Bob Villa [Link]


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