Plastering Question

Possible chrysotile asbestos exposure. is this artex?

Hi. I'm new to this forum and looking for some guidance on a subject that has made me worried sick....

A few years back my wife and I bought a mid 1930's house that needed a fair amount of work. We had a back of house extension done for a new kitchen/diner, however to save money my father in law offered to help with some odd jobs that needed doing around the rest of the house (with me assisting). The dining room,and (old) galley kitchen ceilings were both in a bad way, so it was decided that they needed to come down. The living room ceiling was in better condition, however we decided to steam the ceiling clean so could be re plastered. Together we ripped down the ceiling with a crowbar and steamed and scrapped the living room ceiling, all with little protection. The ceilings that were taken down were the old lath and plaster type so created a fair amount of dust.

Moving on a couple of years. We recently had a leak in our loft that disturbed the spare room ceiling. As the damage was quite significant we decided to go through the insurance. An assessor came round and took a sample of the artex ceiling to test for asbestos. The tests came back positive for Chrysotile asbestos. I instantly had a moment of terror trying to think back to what the ceilings looked like before taking it down/steaming off! I've done some research into exposure of Chrysotile asbestos within artex and although this is the weaker of the types of asbestos, I know that the exposure could have life changing consequences further down the line (10-40 years). I have a very young son and am continually worrying that I might not be able to watch him grow up if I have been so badly exposed. I'm worried sick.

I have been looking through some old photos and have found some of all ceilings. Can anyone who has experience tell me if this is artex or if this could be a ceiling wallpaper?

This is the old kitchen -
This is the living room -
This is the dining room - and

I must add that I have checked the survey that was done when we moved in and the only reference to textured paint was the rear bedroom and bathroom and they stated that these rooms may contain asbestos. There was no reference to the downstairs dining room or kitchen. I have also asked this question on another site and a person seems to think its textured wallpaper but would like a more professional opinion.

Any advice would be hugely appreciated as this is making me feel very anxious.

2 Answers

Best Answer


As stated before this is a good subject to cover. In relation to Chrysotile asbestos exposure.
Chrysotile comes under the classification of low -risk asbestos! The human body can dispell the chrysotile fibers from the lungs after 14 days. So don't panic!
It's prolonged exposure that's really dangerous

But I do recommend you hire contractor's that have a asbestos awareness certification! Just regards working with and the cleaning down prosses etc.. Most buildings up untill the year 2000 still have asbestos in them to a degree.
Best practice when asbestos is located on a test survey is to seal the surface or overboard then replaster it's not cheap but the safest way, as removal of the ceiling is quite costly process

..In turth more Pepole die every year falling off ladders, than working with asbestos!

a good rule of thumb: if unsure about any building materials that your working with post April 2000 eara having asbestos within them in your home, then don't touch it and have the areas tested

Best Regards Steve

Answered 14th May 2017


Member since 9 Apr 2008

This is a really good subject !!
Stop worrying you did just a few ceilings you will be fine I started scraping artex ceilings in 1979 I am now 53 and ok , it's only the last 15 - 20 years this is really been highlighted
About artex !! Try explaining to new customers that it's better to coat the ceiling 3-4 times with plaster rather than scraping or just new plasterboard straight over the top to minimise any risk , they think your trying to earn some extra money !!
Every day someone somewhere is scraping contaminated ceilings with a house full of people !
Hope this was of some help
Richard Poole
Of slough

Answered 4th Sep 2016


Member since 8 May 2009

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