We just bought a new house, built in 1988/89. We contracted to remove the popcorn ceiling. I didn’t even think about asbestos because I thought we were out of the window where it was possible. Dust obviously was all over the house. My family did go in a few times to check on progress, and spent time in it after the fact (while dust was still on floor and prior to additional floor Reno.) what are the odds that a 1988/89 house has asbestos in the popcorn ceiling? Someone recently told me to have it checked and it’s only then I started to research it…

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    check your local building regulations for when asbestos was discontinued, and then consider howe much you trust the builder to comply with those regulations.
    – Jasen
    Commented Apr 25 at 0:19
  • Very many homes built during that time period had popcorn ceilings. Reason was it was cheep and easy to be blown on and didn't need to be painted. In my area of Florida the product did not contain asbestos. The only way to know if your popcorn did, is to have it tested. However if the ceilings are all scraped and the debris removed the biggest threat is removed as well. Low probability of asbestos, but if you must know have it tested. As a side note, the removal is usually done after wetting the popcorn. So, little dust and easier removal.
    – RMDman
    Commented Apr 25 at 0:31

1 Answer 1


Bad news: it is unlikely but possible there was asbestos in the ceiling. It was banned by then, but who knows if someone pulled a pile of old stock off the shelf or something like that.

Good news: even if there was asbestos, in terms of relative risk this would be a minor situation. The higher levels of risk come from excessive and constant exposure. Also, brake dust on the highway contains asbestos to this day, yet we're not seeing massive problems from it. Wet dust everything you can and stop worrying.

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    The bad news is for the workers who did the removal if they weren't protected. Especially if they do this regularly.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 25 at 14:42

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