Agent

Disclosing trace amounts of asbestos in ceilings

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DEAR BARRY: My mother's house was tested for asbestos and it has less than 1 percent asbestos fiber in the popcorn ceiling. The house is for sale, and the disclosure form has a question about asbestos. Is her house in the range where we need to disclose this? If so, is she required to remove the ceiling texture? If she doesn't remove it, will this scare away buyers? --Michelle DEAR MICHELLE: According to the Environmental Protection Agency, material that is more than 1 percent asbestos fiber is designated as asbestos-containing building material (ACBM) and is subject to special handling and disposal if the material is being removed. If the asbestos content is 1 percent or less, this is regarded as a trace amount only, and the material is not regarded as ACBM. In either case, removal is not a legal requirement. If a ceiling with trace amounts of asbestos is removed for any reason, special procedures may be required for the protection of workers. But regardless of the amount...