I live in a townhome and water leaked from the 2nd floor to the ground floor and caused water damage to the ceiling drywall on the lower floor. I would like to fix it myself. According to this, there could be asbestos in the drywall. My home was built in 1980. How likely that there is asbestos in the drywall? The home is in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

  • 8.656846516846514684 % chance. Of coarse that has a margin of error of 99.99999 % The point being, If you want to be 100% sure then you need to buy a test kit. The intertubes can not tell you.
    – Alaska Man
    Apr 4, 2019 at 21:35

2 Answers 2


Asbestos in drywall was banned and regulated in 1977. There would be an extremely low low chance that yours would contain asbestos.

  • 1
    Actually, that’s not quite true. Yes, they banned the manufacturer of asbestos in most products, but they allowed manufacturers to use up their supply from their warehouses. We found asbestos wallboard in projects built in the mid-1980’s. I’d buy the asbestos testing kit, just to be safe. (BTW, if it is asbestos, you can’t throw it in the trash. There are designated hazardous waste disposal sites.)
    – Lee Sam
    Apr 4, 2019 at 17:17
  • @LeeSam - Yes. That's why I said it was a low low chance, not no no chance. I have had many many house tested for asbestos for disclosures - many built from 75-90 and never had one test positive. But I still test them. This sort of exposure is not a high risk (or small) situation too.
    – DMoore
    Apr 4, 2019 at 22:08
  • I would consider the type of wall assembly. The benefits of asbestos only make sense in high duration fire rated assemblies where gypsum is insufficient or the amount required would be excessive. I would expect to find it in a furnace room or a house in a wildfire area.
    – Dan D.
    Jun 19, 2019 at 13:10

There is a decent chance of it being in your drywall. But keep in mind it's never been a problem for short term exposure. Asbestosis and mesothelioma are considered occupational hazards for people working in the field of mining asbestos and production of asbestos containing products. The scare tactics are a result of the asbestos abatement companies. It's in all kinds of products being manufactured today.

The United States remains one of the few developed countries to not ban asbestos which is legal and still widely used in such commonly used products as clothing, pipeline wraps, vinyl floor tiles, millboards, cement pipes, disk brake pads, gaskets and roof coatings. Wikipedia

The bottom line is, wear a mask if things get dusty. You are made to breath air. Who knows maybe there is something else in the drywall that is worse than asbestos. Better safe than sorry.

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