Decorative plaster, also known as acoustical plaster, was a common design element in homes built in the 1960s and 1970s. The plaster was sprayed onto walls and ceilings to give a textured, decorative finish that had the added benefit of absorbing sound. Decorative plaster was also used to create ornamental cornices, footings, moldings, and acoustic ceiling tiles.
Unfortunately, this popular construction material was typically made with chrysotile asbestos, more commonly known as white asbestos. While this type of asbestos is considered less harmful than other varieties, it still poses a danger.
What to do if You Suspect Your Decorative Plaster Contains Asbestos
The Environmental Protection Agency maintains that asbestos is not a danger to homeowners, provided it is contained properly. It is only when asbestos-containing materials are disrupted and have the potential to become airborne that there is cause for alarm. If the microscopic asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can lodge in the lungs and may causemesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases.
A simple solution to ensure that the asbestos in decorative plaster walls, ceilings, or other decorative finishes remains contained is to paint over it. The paint acts as a glue that binds the fibers and prevents them from becoming airborne.
If the decorative plaster in your home is crumbling or damaged in any way, or if you are about to embark on a renovation project that is likely to disrupt it, you’ll want to enlist the help of a trained asbestos management professional who can determine if your plaster does, in fact, contain asbestos, and who can safely contain or remove it if it does.
While manufacturers ceased using asbestos as an additive to decorative plaster in the 1970s, there are older homes in the United States that still contain this toxic material. Sadly, those in the building construction, renovation, or demolition business who worked with decorative plaster over the years are more at risk for developing an asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma.
Many older homes are filled with all types of asbestos-containing products. In addition to decorative plaster, another common building material made with asbestos was wood fiber plaster (used to fill cracks and holes before staining wood surfaces). Until the 1980s, asbestos was added to some wood fiber plaster to increase its strength and ability to resist fire.
Exposed to Asbestos? Contact a Mesothelioma Lawyer Today
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may want to contact a mesothelioma attorney to determine if you have a potential case. Mesothelioma attorneys have helped thousands of mesothelioma patients win compensation for lost wages and medical costs related to their disease.
Learn more about asbestos exposure and read about 6 Asbestos Advertisements You Won’t Believe.