Asbestos Wall Texture Rant

I recently replaced an interior door in my house with a prehung unit. When I removed the old door, I found the original contractor had sprayed drywall texture all over the 2x4 framing in the course of spraying the sheet rock. I didn't think much of it at the time, and of course I knocked some of the material loose and created some dust. I had a drop cloth down but I was just trying to catch the bigger debris, not maintain a clean room environment.
Someone told me the compound probably contains asbestos. I didn't want to believe it, but testing was cheap so I sent a sample to an out of state lab. They confirmed it contains 3% chrysotile - the "safer" asbestos.
At the same time I had also removed two windows and replaced them with vinyl sliders. In the course of that project, I had to cut and drill the drywall, again producing lots of dust.
I thought asbestos was a problem that was over and done with years ago. I thought that unless you bought a house built in the 40s or 50s, you had nothing to worry about.
The first thing everyone says is that as long as you don't disturb it, you're safe. That is fine in theory. There are a few problems with that in practice, however. First, how do you not disturb sheet rock? The house is 40 years old. In some places the sheet rock has been damaged by condensation from the aging windows, or the inadequate bathroom ventilation. Almost every wall has signs of amateur repairs, meaning there have been many fiber releases in the past. There are nail pops and places where the walls have been bumped by furniture or otherwise damaged. Paint of course is a temporary cure, but it only covers over the problem. Removing any of the trim exposes unpainted wall texture and releases dust in the process. OSHA puts wall texture in the most dangerous class of asbestos containing material, because it is a dry powdery substance that easily crumbles and becomes airborne.
Even if I could leave it alone, I don't intend to live in this house for the rest of my life. My wife and I bought it with the intention of living here for a few years while we start a family. We have pretty much outgrown it already. We planned on making some improvements and catching up on the deferred maintenance, then selling the house when we outgrew it. We never thought we'd make a profit off it, but we figured we could come out even, or at least be no worse off than if we'd payed rent for a few years.
The biggest problem is that now I am legally and ethically required to disclose the presence of asbestos to any potential buyer. I know I would not have bought it knowing the asbestos was there. I imagine it makes it very hard to sell your house, unless you are willing to discount it for professional removal, which I figure would cost upwards of $5 a square foot. We're talking ceilings and walls here, so it will be significantly more than the square footage of the house. And removing the wall texture would basically mean a full remodel. I might as well go down to the studs and start over.
I am not sure if I should tell my neighbors, who have identical houses built at the same time. I suspect the older ones who don't ever intend to move would just shrug it off and forget about it. The younger ones would either ignore it or regard me as the bearer of bad news. I have no doubt, human nature being what it is, that the hazardous substances box would not be checked on a lot of the seller disclosure forms mandated by the state. Not necessarily out of a willful desire to endanger or cheat someone, but simply out of an inability to comprehend the facts of the situation. My wife will not allow me to bring this topic up at all, but wants to proceed as if I never had it tested. It might have been better if I had not, except that I would now be blithely sanding, drilling, and demolishing the sheet rock in complete ignorance.
Anyway, if you've come this far, thanks for reading my rant. I'm about out of steam for tonight. Any thoughts you have on my situation are appreciated.
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edc wrote:

Don't tell anyone - except the next potential buyers of the house whom you are required to inform.
Take your 50% hit on the purchase and chalk it up to the cost of idle curiosity. And unfounded hysteria.
You can safely ignore any test results you've obtained.
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if you dont mind a BIG job have a asbestos remediation contractor remove all the asbestos..........
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Your best bet is probably to mop up the dust and forget you ever saw it. Save your sanity for when you find the abandoned fuel oil tank buried in your back yard. It's surely a question for a lawyer, but you're not a professional contractor. It's not your job to know the difference between gypsum and asbestos. Stick to that.
Any 40 year old house is full of asbestos, lead paint, and radon. They put asbestos in everything back then.
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On Jun 9, 12:02 pm, The Reverend Natural Light

I don't think the professional contractors know the difference, either. Testing is not required for residential demolition permits in this area. I think that if they see pipe wrap or duct insulation they scream for the guys in moon suits, otherwise they just go about there business with nothing but a dust mask.

Yep, you are right about that. I wish I'd known that before. I'd have bought a condo.
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