I have sent away the popcorn ceiling samples for testing, but didn't tear out any of the brown paperish backing above it. Should I have?
Here is an image:
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Many times paper is set behind plaster , sometimes 15 lb felt, this did not have asbestos, if it is thicker ground & compressed paper that was used for a while in the 30’s and 40’s that stuff was easy to burn so it probably did not contain asbestos. To know for sure it would need to be tested, panel by encapsulated and then covered would make it safe if it was asbestos. I would treat any popcorn ceiling like asbestos as most did have it.