Here at ETC we believe information is utterly invaluable.   That’s why we do what we can to educate the public with simple answers to fairly simple safety questions to increase public safety overall. is a wellspring of random questions, and many are about Asbestos , Lead , and Mold.  We’ve taken the initiative to try to answer some of these questions while sharing some of the better ones here on our website!

NOPE!  Contrary to popular thought, not all ‘Popcorn’ style ceilings contain asbestos.  Problem is, some do. So how do you know if you’re working with a substance that contains asbestos or not? You Don’t. It is literally impossible to tell which popcorn ceilings do and do not have asbestos with the naked eye.

“Literally”, Literally.  This is because asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral, that is prized for its tensile strength and lack of flammability.  Asbestos crystals form in long thin fibers that are generally fluffy and can range in color from white to blue.    These microscopic fibers are what causes lung damage, as they are made airborne when disturbed.  Theses jagged fibers can get sucked into the lungs when we breathe and can cause a wide array of problems.

But isn’t there a cut off date for Asbestos safe homes?  Not Really.

Unlike lead that was outlawed from paint and petrol in 1978,  the United States has never outlawed Asbestos .

 Asbestos is still used in industrial applications, while some of the more frivolous applications have been tapered down. While we don’t see asbestos baby bottle warmers or gloves anymore, we still see asbestos in building materials and some automobile parts.

So how do you know if your popcorn ceiling has asbestos?  The good news is it’s cheap, and relatively easy to get a sample tested to be certain before you remove the material. Analysis, before you remove, is FAR more cost effective than testing and cleaning after improper removal. Taking a sample is pretty safe and simple. Here’s a great video showing how to take a popcorn ceiling sample quick, safely and easily.  After you’ve taken the sample give ETL a call and we’ll be glad to get your samples analyzed.  Our NVLAP accredited lab is highly competitive in pricing and specializes in helping homeowners!