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My Ceiling Tiles! Help!


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I purchased a home that has ceiling tiles that are painted on the exposed side, but have this gray swirly stuff on the back. Semi rigid, on tracks. Home is 1948, detached apartment over garage added in 1970. Both have the tile. Prior owner from 1980-1990 said it was here before he owned it. Most recent owner before me didn't disclose it as asbestos, but also ignore home inspection that noted ceiling issue (hole, damaged) and my request to repair in escrow. When I took occupancy, owner had slapped torn sheet rock over tiles in the middle of the room with screws (called it fixed).

Stupidly, I tore out the ceiling and replaced it with sheet rock (with assistance due to my gender). I used my shop vac. without hep filter and never used a hep filter in my heating unit.

I have four children (11,8,3,1) who have spent possibly five months breathing the dust that went airborne when torn down. I changed filters in the shop vac, but I used that thing every day to clean the wood floors.

I am sending it off to be tested, but last night I was so worried about the tiles, I stayed up researching until 4 am.

Do you think that five months of breathing the dust (due to winter, with heat pump running) that me and my kids are all loaded with it?????

I am very concerned and very naive. Please don't tell me that I should have done whatever to the prior owner when I first notice the big patch job. Of course, I know that. I was just excited to own my home.

April

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I purchased a home that has ceiling tiles that are painted on the exposed side, but have this gray swirly stuff on the back. Semi rigid, on tracks. Home is 1948, detached apartment over garage added in 1970. Both have the tile. Prior owner from 1980-1990 said it was here before he owned it. Most recent owner before me didn't disclose it as asbestos, but also ignore home inspection that noted ceiling issue (hole, damaged) and my request to repair in escrow. When I took occupancy, owner had slapped torn sheet rock over tiles in the middle of the room with screws (called it fixed).

Stupidly, I tore out the ceiling and replaced it with sheet rock (with assistance due to my gender). I used my shop vac. without hep filter and never used a hep filter in my heating unit.

I have four children (11,8,3,1) who have spent possibly five months breathing the dust that went airborne when torn down. I changed filters in the shop vac, but I used that thing every day to clean the wood floors.

I am sending it off to be tested, but last night I was so worried about the tiles, I stayed up researching until 4 am.

Do you think that five months of breathing the dust (due to winter, with heat pump running) that me and my kids are all loaded with it?????

I am very concerned and very naive. Please don't tell me that I should have done whatever to the prior owner when I first notice the big patch job. Of course, I know that. I was just excited to own my home.

April

First off the ceiling tiles might not have contained asbestos. Second, if the test does come back as "hot' or containing asbestos you should consult an industrial hygienist and or a medical doctor to answer your health related questions.

As for the owner not disclosing the tiles as ACM (asbestos containing materials), if he did not have it tested then he would not know that it might contain asbestos. So the disclosure is a moot point if he did not know.

Most folks don't realize that we have a chance of being exposed to asbestos almost every day when we go outside and take a breath of air.

I would just wait for the test results and then proceed.

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Most folks don't realize that we have a chance of being exposed to asbestos almost every day when we go outside and take a breath of air.

I would just wait for the test results and then proceed.

Scott is absolutely right. Every time you drive through that dust devil on the interstate or walk through a part of town that might have once had old buildings full of the stuff that had been torn down, you're taking a chance that you're breathing it. Worrying about it won't do you much good, 'cuz if you've been exposed to it they say it can take 20 to 25 years for you to begin experiencing symptoms - how will you ever know where you picked up the fiber? Answer - You probably won't.

Get your home checked out by an indoor air quality firm. If they find something, get the home cleaned and move on with your life.

The good news is that maybe there will be a cure for asbestosis or mesothelioma in another 25 years - or maybe not.

I'm convinced that getting sick from this stuff has more to do with individual susceptibility more than anything else. My father smoked 2- 3 packs of cigarette a day from age 16 till about age 45 before he quit. Plus, he was exposed to all sorts of asbestos on the job - as I was as a kid working for him - from the building products made in the 50's, 60's and 70's that contained the stuff.

In 1998 he came down with colon cancer and beat it. Last year, at the age of 81, he came down with pancreatic cancer and lost. Both times, they checked his lungs and said that his lungs were very clear and unscarred from any asbestos or other materials. Yet, lung cancer took my little sister and she was a smoker.

I'm convinced that it all boils down to an individual's system and that it's sort of like the way allergies work where most people can handle something just fine and for those who are allergic it's a really bad thing - kind of like how some folks can't eat a peanut without going into shock and dying.

No point on dwelling on it now. Take precautions but don't beat yourself up over it.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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A couple more things to think about:

Most of the stuff you're finding on Google is from law firms and the media or text that's quoted from those sources.

If you look at "official" studies, that aren't influenced by those that profit from asbestos litigation, on the health concerns and statistics, you'll find one common element. The studies do not evaluate those that have been exposed to asbestos containing building products in their homes.

The studies only focus on long term or intense exposure to asbestos used in manufacturing. That includes mining operations, factories, those that are near mines or factories and those that share dwellings with workers contaminated with asbestos fibers. The other studies are all done in laboratories on rats.

I'm not saying that there's no risk. It's just that the studies that produce the scary statistics are done on those at the highest risk. I don't worry about all the asbestos exposure that I've had. Like Mike said, there's enough other stuff out there that'll probably get us first. Heck, they've found PCBs in ceiling tiles that were recently installed in buildings.

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Heck, they've found PCBs in ceiling tiles that were recently installed in buildings.

Don't even get me started on PCB's. In 1988, when I went through the Special Forced Engineer Sergeant's course at Ft. Bragg we were trained to blow up a whole bunch of stuff out on Coleman Demo Range. The demo range is in a draw with a small creek running through the center of it that's full of everything you can imagine that one would want to blow up, tanks, APC's, Concrete, etc., plus, a bunch of power transformers like you see on powere poles that are filled with oil and PCBs.

I stood there staring at the oil leaching out of those explosive-damaged transformers running across the ground and disappearing into that creek and couldn't believe it. I mentioned it to a couple of cadre - they didn't want to hear it - if they the'd reported it the range would have been shut down and their schedule would have been thrown off.

Sometimes I remember that creek and wonder where that water drained to.

Sorry about the drift - like I said, don't get me started.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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