Asbestos in Popcorn Ceilings Explained
The texture of popcorn ceilings was more than just an ornamental choice for homebuilders. It also had visual and noise-dampening properties.
Popcorn ceilings were embraced due to their ability to:
- Cover unfinished ceilings
- Conceal imperfections
- Absorb echoes and noise
As a result, the popcorn finish was popular widely used in homes from the 1930s through to the 1990s.
Asbestos The “Wonder Material”
It was during this time that asbestos was hailed as a wonder material—non-flammable, durable, lightweight, inexpensive and can be added to a wide variety of materials as a fire-proofer. Sadly, the material has instead been found to cause health problems and has claimed the lives of the people it was supposed to protect.
Government Ban Of Asbestos
In 1977, the U.S. Government banned the use of asbestos in ceiling finishes, and most ceilings installed after this date will not contain asbestos. It is still possible, however, that materials manufactured before 1977 were installed in homes after the ban.
Ceiling materials generally do not expire and wholesalers, hardware stores and contractors would have continued to work with the asbestos-containing materials that remained in their inventories before ordering safer materials.