Any artex pre 2000 can contain asbestos. If left alone and just repainted it isn't a problem, but if you decide to remove or skim over the artex or do anything that requires scrapping, sanding or drilling, such as fit new lights, it will probably need to be tested first, for yours and your family's safety as well as the person carrying out the job. There are companies who can do this for you, by removing a few small samples and testing it in a lab.
There are many companies that will not tell you about this before commencing a job, whether through lack of knowledge or just ignoring the facts. Don't put yourself at risk.
It should be said that the risk from asbestos associated with artex is minimal, but care still needs to be taken.
When asbestos fibre's are inhaled they can cause serious diseases which are responsible for around 4000 deaths a year. There are four main diseases caused by asbestos:
- mesothelioma (which is always fatal),
- lung cancer (almost always fatal),
- asbestosis (not always fatal, but it can be very debilitating)
- diffuse pleural thickening (not fatal)
For more information on asbestos, and where else it can be found, please see the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) website here