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Asbestos-containing products made by the Celotex corporation. The following list names and comments on building products such as ceiling tiles and many other Celotex® brand building products & articles listed by some sources as believed to contain asbestos.
This article series assists building buyers, owners or inspectors who need to identify asbestos materials (or probable-asbestos) in buildings by simple visual inspection. We provide photographs and descriptive text of asbestos insulation and other asbestos-containing products to permit identification of definite, probable, or possible asbestos materials in buildings.
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Alphabetical list of Celotex™ insulating & other building products believed to contain or not contain asbestos
While an expert lab test using polarized light microscopy may be needed to identify the specific type of asbestos fiber, or to identify the presence of asbestos in air or dust samples, many asbestos-containing building products not only are obvious and easy to recognize, but since there were not other look-alike products that were not asbestos, a visual identification of this material can be virtually a certainty in many cases.
See ASBESTOS FIREPROOFING SPRAY-On Coatings for photos of dangerous tremolite asbestos ceiling panels and photos of spray-on asbestos fireproofing coatings. Also see CEILING FINISHES INTERIOR and see ASBESTOS DUCTS, HVAC a field identification guide to visual detection of asbestos in and on heating and cooling system ducts and flue vents. Also see Micro-Photographs of Dust from the World Trade Center collapse following the 9/1
What is Celotex Insulating Lumber? Did it contain asbestos?
Reader question: I have a home built in 1940 that used a brown fiber board called "Celotex Insulating Lumber" looks like is was designed to be used as sheathing and lath. Made in either Chicago on Louisiana. Anyone familiar with this? Or know if it contained asbestos? - Dan Theisen 1/30/12
Dan, Celotex, a Chicago company, has been a producer of a wide variety of insulating sheathing boards for a long time and the company continues to produce modern insulating board products as well.
Our illustration (left) shows Celotex insulating lumber on the exterior of a Lebanon PA home. This insulating board is a wood-fiber product (actually made of bagasse fibers obtained from sugar cane) that we document in detail at SHEATHING, FIBERBOARD.
Asbestos was not among the product's ingredients.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: Do some Celotex® ceiling tiles contain asbestos?
We bought a house that was built in the 50's - it has what I THINK is a Celotex ceiling (or some copy of Celotex) - it's in horrible shape and needs to be taken down - what are your thoughts on it containing asbestos, considering the age? - Saundra
Reply: Yes. In the article above we provide a list of Celotex® fiber-board, ceiling covering, acoustical, sound control & other products that may contain asbestos
Keep in mind that Celotex and other insulating board panel and ceiling tile and panel manufacturers produced a range of products, many of which may contain asbestos, but others made of organic fibers, wood fibers, cane fibers may not contain asbestos. The Celotex ceiling products division was sold to Certainteed Saint-Gobain beginning in 1999. Certainteed continues to produce and sell both fiberglass and mineral-fiber ceiling products, as well as gypsum based ceiling materials. You may find look-alike products by searching that company's product catalogs.
Modern ceiling products do not contain asbestos. Using Certainteed as an example, [www.certainteed.com] you can obtain an MSDS (Material Data Safety Sheet) for each of the company's products. Common modern ceiling product ingredients include fibrous glass wool, urea formaldehyde resin, and fiberboard products contain slag wool, starch, cellulose [wood fibers], perlite, crystalline silica, and clay. It's worth noting that even modern building products can present health hazards if they are not handled properly. For example crystalline silica can cause nose, throat, and lung irritation. 
If you are not sure of the product brand and age of the ceiling covering, and are not sure whether or not the product contains asbestos, and if we accept as a "given" that your ceiling covering needs to be removed, there are two reasonable ways to proceed:
To elaborate your question about asbestos-containing products made by Celotex, the company produced a wide range of fiber-based insulation products such as insulating boards and panels and the company continues to produce modern (non-asbestos-containing) versions of those products today.
At Sheathing Celotex Homasote & Other we include identifying photographs of some Celotex products.
Question: is it safe to clean Celotex board ceilings in our 1935 church?
Is it safe to clean the ceiling of our Church which has celotex boards and believed to have been installed in 1935? - Len Taylor 10/25/12
"Safe" depends - the greatest hazard of cleaning a church ceiling is falling off of a ladder. I don't know what kind of cleaning you are talking about, nor what the concern was; But if you avoid aggressive cleaning that damages the material and creates fibers and dust, you should be ok. Celotex fiberboard insulating panels are not an asbestos product - as you can read at SHEATHING, FIBERBOARD
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