Since the popcorn ceiling in older houses often contains asbestos, I wonder if this is because the "popcorn" is vermiculite which often contains asbestos naturally? Or did they purposefully added asbestos in old formulations?

I hear the newer non-asbestos containing popcorn ceilings are made out of Styrofoam or paper based material, but this doesn't tell me what the asbestos containing ceilings are made out of, especially the "popcorn".



1 Answer 1


Vermiculite itself has not been shown to be a health problem or contain asbestos. However, some vermiculite insulation contained asbestos fibers due to it being extracted from a mine in Montana that had a natural deposit of asbestos which contaminated the Vermiculite. If used for popcorn ceiling, the asbestos wasn't purposely added but could have been left over from the Vermiculite mined in Montana.

  • Interesting! Any references for additional reading?
    – FreeMan
    Oct 29, 2020 at 17:50
  • @FreeMan Wikipedia - Vermiculite.
    – JACK
    Oct 29, 2020 at 18:20

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