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Help! Possible asbestos in old wallpaper?

Discussion in 'Decorating and Painting' started by Rosie1, 18 Sep 2021.

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  1. Rosie1

    Rosie1

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    Ive just started stripping old anaglypta type wallpaper from my bathroom and underneath the anaglypta is what looks like bits of white fluffy cotton wool. I don’t know what it could be and i’m worried sick that it could be asbestos. Is this a possibility?
     

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  3. Munroast

    Munroast

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    YES, a big possibility esp in a bathroom (apparently it made wallpapers very moisture resistant) - get it tested before you remove any more.

    Let us know what it turns out to be and how they recommend dealing with it.
     
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  4. Rosie1

    Rosie1

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    Oh dear I’m even more worried now as I would have breathed lots of it in.
     
  5. RandomGrinch

    RandomGrinch

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    First of all don't panic!
    Yes, asbestos was sometimes added to wallpaper, but this wasn't very common.
    Asbestos fibres themselves aren't easily visible to the naked eye. So what you see isn't likely to be a mass of asbestos!
    What it looks like is the wood fibres from a backing paper.

    BUT, there is no way to tell for sure without a test. Theses are simple, quick and cheap. I have used this site a couple of times:

    https://www.asbestos-sampling.com/products/sample-only-kit

    Even if it were asbestos, the likelihood of harm is very low from a single exposure. Just leave it until you get a test done!
    Good luck :)
     
    Last edited: 18 Sep 2021
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  6. Rosie1

    Rosie1

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    Thank you, I’ll get it tested and see what the outcome is.
     
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  8. Munroast

    Munroast

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    You won't of, even if it turns out to be asbestos you will only have been exposed to the minutest amount. I have in the distant past (30 to 40 years ago) worked with it, sawing and sanding the dam stuff, I have definitely breathed in a fair bit of the stuff, nearly 60 now still cycling 8,000+ mile a year and fitter than most teenagers!

    Don't get me wrong, the stuff is very dangerous and there is no safe limit, but the only people I have seen dying of asbestosis was an uncle who was a lagger in the ship yards, and two aunties who worked in an asbestos factory, their exposure was massive every workday for years (horrible way to die) . Seriously I really wouldn't worry about once scrapping a little bit of wall paper off - but then again I wouldn't scrap any more off.
     
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  9. Rosie1

    Rosie1

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    Thanks munroast that’s reassured me a bit. From what I’ve read it seems like it’s uncommon for it to be in wallpaper over here and more of an American thing but I’ve never seen anything like that before when stripping walls. The bathroom has woodchip on the ceiling and that doesn’t have the fluffy stuff behind it, only the anaglypta on the walls does. I’ll get it tested next week and post what the outcome is.
     
  10. Rosie1

    Rosie1

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    I found a local place that does testing for £12 and they’ve confirmed it’s not asbestos so panic over!
     
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  11. RandomGrinch

    RandomGrinch

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    Yay!
    ...and thanks for letting us know! :)
     
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