Brick + Beam Detroit

3% Chrysotile asbestos in plaster

Asked by Kendal Kuneman at 11:13am on Jul 21 2020

I recently had asbestos testing completed on 9 different samples and 2 of the samples came back positive for containing asbestos. The flooring sample contains 20% Chrysotile and the plaster contains 3% Chrysotile. What is the danger level of 3% Chrysotile asbestos in plaster? I have been cutting into the plaster walls and wonder what I should do to keep myself and contractors safe. I was not planning to gut the house and would like the plaster walls to stay.


at 1:03pm on Aug 10 2020

Hi Kendal,

Anytime you cut into walls you are disturbing the materials within, and likely creating a dust that can be harmful. Whether tested or not we always recommend making sure you are wearing the correct PPE, and follow procedures to minimize the spread of toxic materials, including working wet and using sweeping compounds. The EPA RRP rule is really about lead, but we often suggest starting here for good methods to working safely and minimize exposure:
There are certainly differing opinions, but many people think that removing plaster creates more disturbance and is more of a risk than retaining and repairing the plaster walls (which have a lot of value in terms of sound deadening & temperature control that modern materials like drywall don't!).

SInce you've gotten it tested, and know asbestos is present, NIOSH & OSHA both have standards for allowable levels/ worker exposure, which could help you make decisions about how you work. However keep in mind that these standards are not necessarily as conservative as you may want to be with your own health.
ATSDR info:

There are a lot of resources about asbestos on this EPA site:
ClearCorps Detroit also has a page with info and further reading:

Hope this info helps you work toward a solution for you as you work on your home. I also recommend ensuring you inform all your contractors of this info as you bring them in so they are aware of possible exposure. The EPA also has info on asbestos professionals who may be able to help inform your process.

Add your answer

Have a rehab question?

Ask a question in our Q&A forum. Experts are standing by.

Ask now
Ask a question in our Q&A forum at Experts are standing by to help!