So we got rid of the popcorn ceiling that had asbestos. Now my wife is worried about the particles that might still be lingering in the air. How long until it settles down? Wet-mopping, HEPA vacuuming and opening the doors/windows will help? I sealed the vents. Should I still be worried about residue in the ductwork?
If you had the ceiling removed by "professional certified removers" then you are free of asbestos. They should have sealed everything up, including vents, etc. before starting and all the particulates were pulled out of the air as the removal was done.
Now on the otherhand if you did it yourself or hired some shady under the counter removal company, your probably exposed already so nothing you do now will matter much.
There is a bit of hope in that the asbestos used was probably long grain(Old terminology, now they are classified by color.) rather than short grain. Long grain is less toxic than short grain but can still cause cancer, etc.
Cleaning everything, ducts, Furnace, filters, air conditioners, rugs, walls, floors, household items, etc., etc., etc. will help remove residual contamination, as will leaving all windows and doors open. Once spread all over your home asbestos is hard to impossible to remove completely.
Use masks if you do the cleaning yourselves and a water vacuum to clean the rugs.
It will cost a small fortune to have an asbestos removal company do a whole house clean. Also in many states doing asbestos removal yourself is illegal. So if you removed the ceiling yourselves don't get pro's in after the fact as its way too late and way too costly.
As long as it's not airborne u r ok. If you removed it wet, and disposed of it, you can breathe a sigh of relief. ;*) Check your vents for sure, with a wet cloth, but just enjoy your new place. If you are really worried, you can paint your vents. Encapsilation, i. e. Covering it up is another way of living with it safely. Signed, KC, not a professional but we learned things in 60 + years
Get an air test, as that will tell you for sure how much asbestos is floating around. There are companies that do this sort of testing (for a few hundred bucks or so) or you may be able to get a kit to do it yourself and send to a lab to analyze.
They should take several readings from both inside and outside, as you want to compare the inside readings to the ambient levels outside. They should also used some kind of forced air system, like a blower or fan, to stir up dust while taking the measurement, as this will provide a more realistic measurement of the air quality.
All of your approaches are probably the only options...there's nothing else I can think of. Regarding the ducts, if they were sealed, the only way some asbestos could get there would be via intake, if there was asbestos in the air generally. So it would go in and out and the proportion of asbestos in the ducts would be the same as out of the ducts. In other words, I don't think a duct cleaning would be an improvement, if that's what you're considering.