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Where can I learn more about asbestos?

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QuestionSince my house was built in the early 1970s, I'm concerned about my family's health since there may be asbestos in the popcorn ceilings. Where can I learn more about asbestos?

AnswerYou're smart to be asking about information on asbestos. Many homeowners just scrape off popcorn ceilings without a thought about the possibility of asbestos. The best approach is to do your homework about asbestos, run lab tests to learn for sure whether or not asbestos is present, and then make decisions about what to do, taking into consideration the health and safety of your family.

A good starting point to learn about asbestos is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They offer some excellent detailed information that answers frequently asked questions about asbestos and provides information to help homeowners make informed decisions about the care and maintenance of asbestos containing materials (ACMs).

Visit www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/ashome.html and check out the information under the following subtitles:

  • What Is Asbestos?
  • How Can Asbestos Affect My Health?
  • Where Can I Find Asbestos And When Can It Be A Problem?
  • What Should Be Done About Asbestos In The Home?
  • Asbestos Professionals: Who Are They And What Can They Do?
  • For More Information

Because most states run their own asbestos programs, your home state is generally the best place to start with questions about the requirements/ regulations that may apply to any given asbestos situation. The EPA Regional and State Asbestos Contacts can be found at www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/regioncontact.html.

Some of the information contained in this series of Q&As has been taken from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (www.pscleanair.org). I encourage you to follow the links on their websites and read what they and others have to offer with regard to asbestos in popcorn ceilings.

If you are considering a home improvement project and asbestos is—or may be—a factor, e.g., removing those popcorn ceilings, I encourage you to read all the Q&As here carefully, check out all the links to read what others have to offer, and consult your local/regional/state air quality authorities about the applicable regulations before you begin the project.

Asbestos abatement has stringent requirements. When you finish your research, you may decide to turn it over to the pros, something I heartily recommend.

I've been in the construction field for over 25 years and wish I'd known then what I know now about asbestos. I would not have tackled a lot of projects because of the asbestos content of certain building products.

To get the whole picture, I recommend that you purchase my informative article, Asbestos In Popcorn Ceilings, which describes how to determine if asbestos is present and the steps a professional takes to decide if removal is the correct course of action. Purchase this article to learn about asbestos in popcorn ceiling and how to patch them!These same steps apply to homeowners facing the same decisions.

Included are links to government and state agencies where you can get more information on the subject, locate state-certified professional asbestos contractors for removal, and find other documents that address removing the asbestos yourself.

As an added bonus, Patching a Popcorn Ceiling has been added to Asbestos In Popcorn Ceilings to help those who need to make repairs to their ceilings. The process is about the same whether the ceiling contains asbestos or not; however, for your own peace of mind, you still need to determine if your ceiling contains asbestos, and the article describes procedures to follow to safely take a sample for testing.

Click to Purchase Don't forget—before starting this project get your informative 10-page PDF article titled Asbestos In Popcorn Ceilings and Patching a Popcorn Ceiling. To order your downloadable .pdf printable copy, click here or click the purchase button to the left!

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Question answered by Leon A. Frechette.

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