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Asbestos in closet! What to do?


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Moved to condo from 1970 with popcorn ceiling inside the big closet. Since the year I believe almost all popcorn ceilings were asbestos. Renovation guy said the same thing that most likely it is so I am treating it as asbestos.  Was throwing tons of stuff there, packed it there up to the ceiling to have more space and they were all touching and brushing the ceiling while i was putting it often in and out. What should I do now with the stuff? Its mostly clothes and other things. Do I need to throw them out?  Can I even safely touch it? Will the asbestos be floating all over the shelf? Should I somehow clean them somehow?There is a chance it was painted over it before so its not that powdery but I am very concern to touch it and try the flakiness. How do I know if it was somehow encapsulated with pain. If there is no powder on stuff is it safe?  I am just lost what should i do, who to ask, who to call. Thanks for all the advices!

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6 minutes ago, Jim Katen said:

That's not a popcorn ceiling. 

If there's any asbestos in the ceiling texture, it's behind several layers of paint. 

Have a coke and a smile and stop worrying about it. 

So if it would be behind few layers of paint then it would not get exposed at all even if i was scratching it with things? Can I be sure? 

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Asbestos becomes harmful when it becomes airborne as fibers and gets in your lungs. Touching it ain't going to hurt you. I'm not aware of any products that are asbestos but a lot of stuff contains it. It's still in may things now, but much less because its presence in products is regulated. Relax, relax, relax.

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I'm with Jim.  That is not a popcorn ceiling and if it was there are several coats of paint encapsulating any thing.  

Read something about the characteristics of asbestos;  it is a crystal, hard, brittle, and not transdermal.   Do NOT grind, sand or otherwise abrade it.  Look up pixels ala asbestos.  relax.  there are a bizzilion products with asbestos today. 

 

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6 hours ago, Les said:

I'm with Jim.  That is not a popcorn ceiling and if it was there are several coats of paint encapsulating any thing.  

Read something about the characteristics of asbestos;  it is a crystal, hard, brittle, and not transdermal.   Do NOT grind, sand or otherwise abrade it.  Look up pixels ala asbestos.  relax.  there are a bizzilion products with asbestos today. 

 

Sorry what do you guys mean its not popcorn ceiling. From all the photos I seen on internet it looks totally like popcorn ceiling. Its definitely not smooth, so I am confused. Is there a chance in this type of ceiling there was not asbestos in that age? Would you reccomend to take a sample by myself or is that too risky. Thanks. 

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Popcorn ceiling texture has a much deeper pile and is, generally, quite delicate. You can scrape it off with your thumb. Some popcorn ceiling texture had asbestos in it and some didn't. The stuff in your picture is a textured finish, just not one that I'd characterize as popcorn. It might have asbestos in it and it might not. The drywall behind it might or might not contain asbestos and the drywall finishing compound used to finish it might or might not contain asbestos. Asbestos was used in over 3,000 building products and in countless other consumer products. Stand on a busy street corner today and take a deep breath - you'll be inhaling asbestos fibers from older brake pads and clutches. 

The reason that people should be concerned about asbestos popcorn ceiling texture is that it's delicate. If you rub it, you release fibers into the air. The stuff in your pictures is encapsulated by paint - several layers by the look of it. If you brush up against it, nothing will happen. You're more likely to leave some of your skin on the ceiling than the other way around. Remember that one of the solutions to popcorn ceilings is to simply paint them. Whatever is on your ceiling is already well painted. As long as you're not planning to cut into it, scrape it with a knife, or gnaw on it, it's just fine the way it is. If you are planning to do any of those things, first cut out a little bit, put it on a ziplock bag, and have it tested. This will not harm you. I promise. We're not talking about polonium here. 

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In our area there was a time (now we're talking early 60's) when a university here was granted approval to reduce floor/ceiling concrete slab thickness by some measure (not sure exactly the difference) by spraying ceilings with popcorn containing asbestos.

The reason had to do with fire rating.  It only made sense past a certain threshold of scale.  These were 6 to 10 storey high rise dormitories using large amounts of concrete.

About 15 yrs after occupancy a student noticed a thin dusty film on the top of a drink in a cup.  Analysis found the film was asbestos fiber that had drifted from the soft popcorn ceiling finish.

Does your ceiling look like it could shed fiber by mere effect of gravity?

Doesn't look like it to me.

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If you're still concerned after reading the above, it is possible to have a sample of the texture tested for asbestos content. In my area, analysis can be done for around $50 and results only take a few days. Perhaps it'll give you the peace of mind you need.

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Thank you for all the replies. What would you suggest to do after I took the samples and there is now small hole. Should I pain it? Whats the safest way to pain it? Do I still have to wear the proper equipment? What kind of colors would be good to encapsulate the hole? Also after taking the sample, although I was tryng to wet it as much as possible it was hard to wet it because there was paint on it, so took 20 min to scrape small sample,so is the air in that room very dangerous, since I did it by myself? Do you think a lot of asbestos was released by the sample? Not sure if i should be concerned about bed and furniture in that room and try to vacuum now for days every day and buy some airpurifier or most likely the amount of asbestos is very small and don have to worried. 

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Don't worry about it, Tantor. 

If this is the *big problem* in your life right now, you're doing better than most people on the planet. Be thankful that you have the privilege of obsessing over individual asbestos fibers. 

 

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Mia,

Are you trying to drive yourself insane? If you find out that the sample you've taken contains asbestos what will you do - move out of your home never to return? I've got news for you. There is no place on the planet you can go to eliminate the risk of asbestos exposure. However, if you're so afraid that you're going to inhale asbestos fibers, go out and purchase a full face respirator with P100 filtration, wear it 24/7/365 and only take it off to eat. That won't get the asbestos out of your lungs that you've already inhaled, but it will prevent more from getting in there - except for the asbestos you breath when you take it off to eat.

Let me put it in perspective for you. Do you use a blow dryer on your hair? If so, you've already inhaled thousands of asbestos fibers and that wasn't the first time. You've been inhaling it your entire life and didn't realize it because, thanks to the fact that so much stuff was made with it, especially car brake pads, it's everywhere.

Some people who've been exposed to asbestos eventually develop cancer and die - that's a fact. It's also a fact that most who've been exposed to it don't die. It's one of those things in life where you really can't do much to affect the outcome; so you're better off not to dwell upon it. I'll bet there is a statistic somewhere that says that the odds of you dying from exposure to asbestos is a tiny tiny fraction of the odds that you'll die in a car accident or exposure to someone else's filthy cigarette smoke.

Let it go!

 

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