The EPA recommends hiring a licensed professional to apply a light coat of paint to encapsulate and seal asbestos materials, such as those used for popcorn ceilings. It is essential that the professional keeps the paint layer light enough that it does not cause the materials to drop off the ceiling and release asbestos fibers into the air. The source recommends that homeowners not disturb these materials in any way.
Asbestos is a metamorphic silicate mined from the ground. Its fireproof quality led to its use in many industrial applications as well as in homes. The health hazards of the material include causing cancer and asbestosis. OSHA regulates asbestos in the workplace. While no longer allowed in new construction, exposure today comes from older buildings and auto brakes.
According to the EPA, encapsulation is preferred to removal of asbestos due to the greater potential for fiber release if those attempting the job do it incorrectly. In many states, the law prohibits removal of asbestos products by unlicensed professionals. Professionals use special equipment to ensure safe removal. The pros seal the room from the rest of the occupied building. A HEPA filter cleans all the air before releasing it to the atmosphere to prevent pollution from the material.