How much is too much?

Had a homeowner explain that they had personally scraped the popcorn ceiling of their home.

He did it dry and without any breathing filtration or body cover. It is a 35 year old home so I explained that there was a possibility of asbestos and that scraping it dry would put it airborn and he was breathing it. I helped him find a place to do a lab analysis.

They just sent back the results and they did detect asbestos. The popcorn ceiling was determined to be 2% Chrysotile fibers. I know that 0% exposure to friable asbestos is preferred…but this seems like a little amount.

Does anyone have a chart, or know of a percentage range, that explains the health hazard implications based on percentage of asbestos someone is exposed to? I’ve looked online but can’t find any quantitative information.

My client is freaking out and I would like to get him some useful information about exposure to 2% asbestos fibers.

Your client is going to die, eventualy. If the client is about my age (47),they probably have 30 to 40 good years left, tell them to spend them wisely.

Having sanded lead based paint of off asbestos shingles in the early 70’s I am a little concerned myself, although I believe cleaning the paint brushes with MEK might have mitigated some of the adverse effects.:roll: :frowning: :wink:

Thanks Brian… I think :roll: :roll:

One fiber of asbestos is all it takes to cause asbestosis. However, not everyone who inhales asbestos will get asbestosis.

Same with cigarettes–some can smoke them and never get cancer; others can smoke for a short while and get cancer.

Only God knows who will die from what.

Contact the lab and press them on the significance of their data and the means to interpret it. If you don’t get answers that you can understand don’t expect to be able to relay it to your client. If you don’t get customer service then consider using a different lab that provides a variety of standard reports. Hope it helps

I would be carefull interpeting data from a lab and passing that info on to a client. They were exposed to some material containing asbestos.

Not to worry your client, but if they did not take any special care removing the material, how can they/you be sure they did not actually release more of the asbestos containing material throughout the entire house???

Good point… I’ve already talked to him about this possibility also.

I remember eating paint, glue, asbestos, dirt, bugs, leaves, flowers, etc., when I was young. Being an abused child in a dysfunctional family with six other abused siblings and two alcoholic parents, I found food and nutrients wherever I could, figuring that if it could fit in my mouth, it must be edible and nutritious. Maybe that improved my immune system, which is why I’m rarely sick (cough). Or it could be Ms Margarita and Dr Cuervo’s influence, I guess. :margarit:

This is from the WSJ a few years ago- Read to whole thing at:
(You made to register-Very easy and No junk from them in 5 years)

“In fact, scientists today actually know some real things about asbestos. A naturally occurring mineral, asbestos comes in several forms: “Blue” asbestos, because of its fiber type, shape and size, is considered most dangerous. “White” asbestos, used in the WTC, constitutes over 90% of asbestos products in place in the U.S. and is far less harmful. Asbestos is associated with three major diseases–asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. Nearly all of these ailments, however, strike people who, largely for occupational reasons, were exposed to asbestos at high levels and over a long period of time. For everyone else, the risks are extremely low: Should you simply sit in a building containing asbestos, you are more likely to be hit by lightning than you are to die a premature death from asbestos.”

Its long term exposure that results in damage to the lungs. The sky is not falling, only the ceiling.

Abosolutely Raymond, but thanks to groups who claim to be acting in the public interest and lawyers who smell a way to make money we now have a very useful product that as been “banned”. There will be no end to this situation unless people demand of there leadership that the lawyers and their proxies be reigned in. Unfortunately we we now have a long list of products that can no longer be sold because of the fear of future litigation.

Michael, can’t argue with your views. I think its true. Its become a money making opportunity borne on the backs of those who have been told to fear asbestos.

Its amazing you can still buy MEK at HomeDepot etc. They might as well be selling mercury.

A fews years back I ran into a 62 year old drywall finisher on a remodel project. At the time I had been a drywall finisher for about 15 years so I asked him about the health affects he noticed from our trade, especially his lungs. He told me that when he first started in the trade at the age of 18, he sanded behind the taping and finishing work of the plasterers that were then leaving the plaster trade for the drywall trade. The mud at that time contained asbestos, and it was his job to sand their work to a smooth finish with nothing more than a bandana around his mouth for protection. He told me he use to cough up dust at night after work. Keep in mind that the first 20 years he taped the mud contained asbestos. To top things off, he smoked for 30 years, and didn’t quit smoking until he was almost 50.
The guy was as solid as a rock. He was packing tools and material up a steep driveway and two flights of stairs. I couldn’t believe what great shape this guy was in. The heavy exposure to asbestos may eventually get him, but he was holding up pretty well for guy his age who’d worked a young man’s trade all of his life.
Your question was how much is too much, well for some it’s obviously a lot more than for others.

There is Mecury vapour in flourscent tubes, look how easily they can be broken and the vapour inhaled.

I am 71 . when I was 12 I started helping my Brother in all my spare time . We used to put on asbestos on hot water storage tanks and the Jacket heaters and the feed pipes . We many fights throwing asbestos balls .
At 16 I started working at the electrical trade being the grunt I was bottom of the work . I spent many hours hand putting the tapers on asbestos Transite pipe . .
From there I moved into doing electrical work in boiler section of steam generating plants generating plants working on the same scaffolding with the insulators ,who used asbestos .
Next into Glass making plants where they used a lot of asbestos insulation.
I did not smoke . My health is great still walk the roofs do the crawl spaces built my own garage ( By my self last year ).
I have no concerns about asbestos . My dad was a train engineer for most of his life on Steam engines that where covered with Asbestos . he lived till 91.
My other brother is 79 and still going strong and he did exactly the same as me and worked at the electric trade .
My brother George had an accident in his 70s that killed him or I expect he would still be doing fine .
I do not think asbestos is as bad as many say it is .
Roy Cooke