I stupidly started ripping down a damaged ceiling tile with the idea of replacing it with a new one. Someone mentioned that ceiling tiles sometimes contain asbestos.

The house is from the 30's however the ceiling tiles appear to be added on after the fact to cover a damaged plaster ceiling.

I had already tested the plaster in a different room and it had come back negative.

Any thoughts?enter image description here

2 Answers 2


You've done the right thing with the plaster as you stated. You sent a sample to a lab and had it tested. That is the only way to know for sure.

We cannot tell you from a photo with certainty.

  • As said, this is not the way to tell for sure. But it LOOKS like it is just the common type of pressed cellulose (wood pulp) ceiling tiles. Your tests will only confirm if there is or is not asbestos. If not, then just rip and replace.
    – JRaef
    Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 18:01

It looks like common cellulose tiles to me , this is still a common way to cover old plaster. If the material looks the same as the other room you had tested it is probably the same as many times these quick updates are done to flip a house quickly (make it look better with little time and cost to upgrade). To be absolutely sure have a sample tested, prior to knowledge of how potentially bad asbestos can be many of us in the trades stripped asbestos based material without any protection. I do not know of anyone that has been affected , the problem is it can kill. So I would test , unless the same as the other room you had tested.

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