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Positive Asbestos test in textured ceiling paint - Looking for guidance/experien

Positive Asbestos test in textured ceiling paint - Looking for guidance/experien


  #1  
Old 01-15-18, 10:06 AM
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Exclamation Positive Asbestos test in textured ceiling paint - Looking for guidance/experien

We recently remodeled our bathroom, which was a very messy process with lots of plaster dust. I had been told by an inspector previous to the remodel that the walls were just normal animal-hair plaster, and not a concern. After the remodel was complete, I started getting anxiety about it, and decided to have some samples in my house tested just for future knowledge, and if we remodel anything else.

I sent out various samples from around the house, plaster walls, plaster ceilings, attic insulation, and textured ceiling paint (NVLAP accredited lab). All of the plaster and insulation came back negative, but the ceiling sample came back positive for 2% Anthophyllite...and now I'm freaking out a bit.

I spoke with the lab on a consultation call, and they said the ceiling should not be a concern as long as it's not disturbed, and we could plaster/paint over it to encapsulate it. I told the person that have cracks in that part of the ceiling though, and if we should be concerned. She said we should probably have an air quality test done.

So now I'm in a panic to test our air. This ceiling is only in one hallway (other ceiling samples tested negative), but it is the main hallway of the house . Dust and debris are not falling from the ceiling, and we never touch it...but there are some pretty big cracks in the paint that reveal the plaster layers underneath it. We have been living in this house for 5 years now, and the ceiling has been in basically the same condition the entire time.

I understand all forms of asbestos are toxic, and there is no acceptable level. But I'm looking for advice on how concerned I should be about this level of exposure. I don't plan on removing the ceiling at any point, and just want to encapsulate it. Is it enough to just paint it? Should I use a roller or a sprayer? Should I plaster the cracks first? If I use plaster, is there a concern of disturbing the paint as I apply it? Obviously I won't be sanding or cutting it...but will incidental contact with wet plaster do anything? Will a strong breeze through the hall do anything?

Any information is appreciated.
 
  #2  
Old 01-15-18, 10:20 AM
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As far as I know, asbestos is only dangerous in a dry powdered form - where you could inhale the dust. I'd paint it and forget it. .... or mist it with water, scrape it off, skim coat the ceiling [or retexture] and then prime/paint.
 
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Old 01-15-18, 03:09 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I'm overly paranoid about this, so I bought some flexible, sprayable rubber sealant (https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rust-Ole...5495/203165633). I'm going to spray this over the cracks to seal it completely without touching the cracks. Then I'm hiring contractors later this week to install a new drywall ceiling. I'm going to have them drop the new ceiling so they don't have to affix it to the old one (to prevent screwing into the old ceiling or otherwise damaging it).

Do you have an opinion on my plan to use the rubber sealant? I don't think there are any adverse interactions, and I will be keeping the area well-ventilated.
 
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Old 01-15-18, 03:25 PM
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I think the chemicals in your rubber sealant aerosol are probably more of a danger than any dust you might breathe from your paint. What people don't realize about asbestos is that the people who suffered ill effects from it worked in an INDUSTRY that caused them to have a high exposure to it on a daily basis for years on end. Brake pads, pipe fitters, etc.

But there is a lot of money to be made from people who freak out at any mention of the words mold, lead, asbestos, etc. Pretty much any house built before the 1980s has some asbestos (not to mention lead) in some product somewhere, whether it's paint, texture, joint compound, etc.

Personally I'm not a bit worried. Something kills us all eventually, and you can't do a thing about it, and besides obvious causes like smoking, you can't usually pinpoint one particular reason one person gets cancer and another doesnt. There is no rhyme or reason behind it. We breathe so many pollutants every day that I'm surprised any of us make it past 70.
 
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Old 01-15-18, 03:32 PM
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I'm definitely one of those paranoid people, although I'm trying to contain it and no overreact. My main concern is the ceiling has cracks in it, a couple fairly large, and has been that way for about 5 years. We bought the house as a fixer-upper kind of thing, and we are slowly moving through it. We just finished the bathroom in November, and for whatever reason, I decided to start testing samples. I wasn't even going to test that ceiling, because I didn't consider it at first...

The ceiling has not been touched since we moved in, no sanding, cutting, scratching, or anything. The space above the ceiling is a non-occupied attic, so there should be no movement of the ceiling that way either. I have not noticed the cracks getting bigger.

The other thing that concerned/surprised me is the type of asbestos. The lab reported it as Anthophyllite, which is an amphibole type instead of a serpentine. I've read that it's very rare for that type of asbestos to be in residential buildings, but the lab tech told me it was actually pretty common in textured paint. I'm concerned that a lower exposure to that type of asbestos might be more dangerous, and the cracks have been exposed for 5 years...
 
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Old 01-15-18, 07:28 PM
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It sounds like you will feel better with the asbestos gone. And now that you know it's there you must disclose that when you sell. So bite the bullet and have it removed and get certification that there is no asbestos there and rest easier and don't worry when you sell. Then finish the lid any way you like.
 
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Old 01-16-18, 03:18 AM
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bearonthejob,

You are overthinking this.
Asbestos is most definitely a health risk but for it to be so, the exposure has to be of a measurable number of fibers in the air OVER AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME. (Extended meaning many years.)
If you fill the cracks with a normal crack filler and apply two coats of paint I can assure you there will be no measurable fibers in the air from the repaired area..

It was suggested that there may be way more hazardous products in your home that if not used properly could easily harm you.
Asbestos would be the least of my worries!
 
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Old 01-16-18, 03:36 AM
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Back in the early 70's I sprayed asbestos texture more weeks than not and I have no ill effects from it. I also applied a lot of asbestos roof paint until it was banned. I can't imagine your asbestos texture paint being an issue especially if you encapsulate it with paint. No need to drywall over it.
 
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Old 01-16-18, 04:42 AM
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We had planned to redo the ceiling at some point anyways (new drywall surface), we had just never gotten to it because there was always something else to work on. This is our priority now. I'm not gonna bother with the sealant spray, and I'm not gonna plaster the cracks. I'm just gonna get a contractor to hang the new drywall and be done with it.

I had a guy here last night to test our air quality (which was surprisingly reasonably priced), and should have the lab results today or tomorrow. He calmed me down a little bit too, he said the cracks in the ceiling were definitely a concern and should be fixed, but he did not expect it to be affecting the air quality. And he said that even though the cracks have been exposed for 5 years, there is no vibration in the ceiling, and the space above it is an un-used attic so there shouldn't be any displacement over time.

The other part of this story is I have a 15 month old son, and this is why I'm freaking out. I have been putting off the repair of this ceiling forever, as I've always had some other repair or task to do first. I never even thought the ceiling could be asbestos. I just sent in the sample randomly because I had an extra sample baggy to fill...The house has been tested for lead and other contaminants and all came back clean, and finding this out now is making me crazy for my son's sake. Thanks for all the comments, they are settling my mind.
 
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Old 01-16-18, 05:24 AM
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The only reason I can see to do ceiling is for your peace of mind. As other have said there is little or no risk to your son. I worked as mechanic where we blew off the brake dust for many years before we ever heard of the risk. That was in 70's and still here.
 
 

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