Urgent: Asbestos in ceiling panels?

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I was just taking down ceiling panels from a drop ceiling in the basement and got covered in dust; some of which may have been from the shredding of the edges of the panels. It was only afterwards that it occured to me the chance that there may have been asbestos in the panels!
The date of posession of the house when it was first built was 1978; and the basement was definately not a part of the original install (none of the houses in the area had finished basements). I'm also thinking that it was done by one of the owners as opposed to a contractor, but who knows. The fact is that the drop ceiling was installed in '78 or later.
What are the chances of the tiles containing asbestos, and how do I go about getting them tested in Toronto, Canada? I've already written an email to the govt, but they usually have a 2 day turnaround.
Can someone give me a ballpark answer about the chances of them actually having asbestos though? -Daniel
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Slim next to none. Ceiling tile is and has been essentially a cellulose product.
Were they 12 x 12 tongue and groove or 2' x 4' ?
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing. . . . DanG

the
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They are not likely to have asbestos. My house was built in 1971 and none contain asbestos. Moreover, you will coughing if you came into contact with it. Your body develops natural reactions to these harmful material and will try to get it out of the system.
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basement
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was
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LOL...ok.. Thats funny, since you can cough after exposure to good old dust. I dont know about some of this stuff I read...we are exposed to fiberglass, and asbestos and all kinds of good stuff, and we cant tell what we got into by the way the "body reacts"...
Bad advice there.
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I will send my conoleances to your family...
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I worked in a commercial building that was completed in 1980, and the ceiling tiles contained asbestos. It cost the company a fortune to have it replaced. Some areas of the building also had vinyl tiles that contained asbestos, and had to be replaced.
At the time, many so-called "experts" said that there was no chance that there would be asbestos found. They were all found to be exactly wrong once testing was done..
The only answer for you, is that it must be tested.
BB
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BinaryBillTheSailor@Sea++.com wrote:

Maybe, but it is just as likely that if that commerical building had drop down ceilings, the sp-ace above contained pipes above were wrapped in asbestos which shed fibers and contaminated the ceiling tiles. Why would ceiling tiles ever be made with asbestos fibers? There was (or they thought there was), however, a good reason for putting asbestos in floor tiles.
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On Sat, 27 Dec 2003 00:17:29 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"

The fact is, those white acoustical tiles used to be made with asbestos as a component. Yes, the pipe wrap also contained asbestos and had to be removed, but the ceiling tiles were manufactured with asbestos. There is nothing new or surprising about this fact..
BB
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BinaryBillTheSailor@Sea++.com wrote:

After a quick google search I found that some EPA sites indicate that ceiling tile and layin pannels do contain asbestos. Maybe the 1977 law didn't cover commercial building but if it did, the contract, builder or whoever should have been liable.
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ceiling
replaced.
and had

there
testing
How do I go about getting them tested in Toronto, Canada? As I mentioned, I contacted the govt, but with all the holidays right now and the weekend I wont get a response for a while.
Also, if they do test positive, will they not come and put a tent over the house, evict us, and invoice millions for the cleanup?
-Daniel
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DS wrote:

you're probably right about your fears in Canada. Best deal would be to replace the pannels yourself, dump the old pannels, and clean up. Then forget about it.
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It is certainly possible, but not likely. More likely they are fiberglass, which may prove to be just as deadly!
But, I wouldn't worry. The exposure you and your family are likely to receive would be minimal, and the people who really need to worry about asbestos are those who are in constant contact with the dust in a work related capacity.
Just be sure to vacuum a lot for a couple of weeks. Wear a dustmask and eye protection when you work to remove the ceiling.
Not to downplay exposure issues, because I am fearful as well! But your risk is truly minimal.

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But only if you've got a filter that will stop the asbestos fiber. Otherwise, you'll just spread the fibers around.
Mike
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about
the
The others have commented on the chances, which seem slim but only testing can tell for sure. But even if they have asbestos, I wouldn't worry about health effects from what you're doing. Asbestos is harmless unless disturbed, so it's only during the recent work that there's any exposure. And casual exposure, while undesirable, is not the damaging thing. People got sick by being exposed to fibres for years on end, not occasionally breathing the stuff in.
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If you are talking about the 1/2 to 5/8 tiles in 12 inch squares and 2x4 foot pieces, probably other sizes too, then there is virtually no chance. It's got nothing to do with 1978. These things have been around since before the 1950s. Celotex was a major manufacture, don't know if they are anymore. Look at the edges and if they are very granular in appearance and if the tiles are very light weight you are looking at a wood or fiber producted. There would be no reason to put asbestos in those. A little asbestos wouldn't cut down flamability and pure asbestos tiles would be heavy.
DS wrote:

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On Sat, 27 Dec 2003 00:02:18 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"

There was apparently SOME reason to put in asbestos, because the absolute fact is that they did do just that. I think it was probably because the long strands helped hold the other short fibered materials together.
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BinaryBillTheSailor@Sea++.com wrote:

I'll accept that some did, but I don't think they were in Celotex. I can't think of a single reason to add them to the tile. But then, I can't think why they would use them in popcorn ceilings, but I know they did even though other materials would work as well and just a cheap.
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Thanks for the input.. from my perspective, I'm hoping that they don't contain any asbestos, and it stands to reason that they shouldn't (in hindsight at least). When they get installed, no matter how hard you try, the edges get frayed on these things.. that's just the nature of a suspended ceiling. And when you pop a tile you get covered in dust from when they were installed. Also since the floor above is a floor, they are exposed to vibration. Of course I'm looking at this from today's perspective of the stuff being dangerous when dislodged.
The face is solid white (no holes or cracks like most acoustic tiles), they are 1/2" thick, and the back looks sort of like a cross between a MDF look and the stuff made for felt covered bulletin/pin-boards. When I get my hands on the digital camera, I'll snap a few shots (in light of everything being closed at the moment).
Unfortunately there are no labels on them whatsoever so I have no way of knowing who the manufacturer was. I saw remarkably similar tiles at home depot but still have no way of knowing if it is the same manufacturer.
As I said, the house was taken posession in 1978, and this room was finished afterwards, probably a few years after the house was built (or the original owners would have presumably had the builders do the finishing themselves). Does anyone have any idea of the timeline of when asbestos was phased out of use?
Thanks again for all the input.
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DS wrote:

Things you need to know:
1. There has never been a scientifically documented case of human health problem related to end-market asbestos. This includes people who breathed asbestos dust from brake pads and shoes for 30 years.
2. Had there not been hysteria over asbestos, perhaps 1000 people would not have lost their lives in the 2nd World Trade Center collapse (they quit using asbestos insulation on the steel at about th 60th floor). The 2nd Tower lasted only half as long as the 1st before collapsing.
3. If you tell ANYBODY (especially the government), you may have to pay the cost of tearing down your house and moving all the resultant scrap to an enviornmentally-approved landfill. Certainly the resale value of your house will plumet.
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If this really happens to be the case, then why does everyone make a big fuss about it, and secondly, why has its use become rationed or banned?

not
Interesting.. I never knew that, and was actually curious about why the second one didn't last as long.

the
house
Hmm.. really don't like the sound of that at all :-(
-Daniel
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