Posted on: 18.07.2023 Posted by: Редакция Comments: 0

Ceiling tiles provide a cost-effective way for households and businesses to cover unsightly elements such as pipes and ducts. However, have you ever considered how effective ceiling tiles are for your health? Could they actually make you sick?

Ceiling tiles can make you sick depending on the material, condition, and moisture. If your ceiling tiles are in poor condition, it is important to identify the materials they are made of as they may require a trained contractor to replace or remove them.

This article explains how ceiling tiles can make you sick and what health problems their presence can trigger. I will also show you the telltale signs that indicate your ceiling tiles need to be replaced and give you advice on when to call a contractor.

How Ceiling Tiles Can Make You Sick

There are several ways ceiling tiles can cause serious health problems for you and everyone in your building. For example, the presence of the following substances in your ceiling tiles could cause health damage:


Formaldehyde is found in adhesives, resins, and plastics used to bind ceiling tiles. It is more common in fiberglass and mineral fiber tiles.

Formaldehyde has been classified as a known human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). It can irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and skin, and can cause respiratory problems such as asthma attacks and difficulty breathing. Long-term exposure to formaldehyde has been linked to nasal and throat cancer.


Acoustic ceiling tiles contain many porous materials that are prone to mold, fungi, and bacteria growth as heating and air conditioning systems circulate air around contaminants, including mold spores.

Mold can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, and cause skin and respiratory problems such as asthma attacks and difficulty breathing. According to the Cleveland Clinic, long-term exposure to mold has been associated with chronic bronchitis and emphysema.


Asbestos was commonly used in building materials until its health risks were discovered in the 1960s. Since that discovery, the mineral has been banned in 67 countries and heavily regulated in others, including the United States. Asbestos was used in ceiling tiles to increase their fire and heat resistance.

Inhaling asbestos fibers can cause serious health problems for the lungs, such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.


Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a plastic used in many building materials, including acoustic ceiling tiles. It has been associated with several health problems, including asthma, allergies, and cancer.

PVC contains phthalates; These are chemicals added to plastics to increase their strength and flexibility. Phthalates can be released into the air when PVC products are heated or damaged. These chemicals have been linked to reproductive issues, birth defects, liver damage, cancer, and hormone disruptions.

When Should You Replace Your Ceiling Tiles?

Now that you know the potential hazards ceiling tiles can cause, you naturally want to prevent this from happening in your building. Replacing ceiling tiles is one of the best ways to ensure this, but when is the best time to replace them?

You should replace your ceiling tiles every ten years. Monitor the tiles for water discoloration, increasing cleaning difficulties, and signs of brittleness such as sagging. Once you notice these signs, repair is usually no longer an option and replacement is the only choice.

Replacing Ceiling Tiles: When to Consider Hiring a Contractor

So, you have identified damage to your ceiling tiles and want to have them replaced. While replacing ceiling tiles is a task that doesn’t always require a contractor, there are cases where hiring one is crucial. Let’s examine some of these circumstances.

When Replacing Asbestos Ceiling Tiles

All work on materials containing asbestos should be performed by a licensed contractor. Working with asbestos is not something you should attempt yourself. This could increase your risk of disturbing asbestos fibers, resulting in serious health risks for you and others.

How to Identify Asbestos Ceiling Tiles

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to determine if your ceiling tiles contain asbestos without confirmation from the manufacturer. However, there are some things you can do to circumvent this, such as:

  • Check the date they were installed – Contractors typically used asbestos tiles between 1950 and 1980. By checking when the tiles were last installed, you will get an indication of whether they contain asbestos. If the installation was done before 1980, you should assume they do.
  • Check for manufacturer markings – Look for stamps, marks, or codes on the ceiling tiles. This information might point to the manufacturer and whether they used asbestos in their materials. If the manufacturer is no longer in business, you can search online anytime.
  • Hire an inspector – Professional asbestos inspectors can take samples of the tile to test for asbestos without risking disturbing the fibers. They can also provide recommendations on what to do if the tiles contain asbestos.
When Removing Mold from Ceiling Tiles

Unlike asbestos, it is not always necessary to hire a professional contractor to remove or replace moldy ceiling tiles. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and they include:

  • If you cannot locate the mold.
  • If the amount of mold is too large for you to handle.
  • If the mold has caused structural issues to the building.
  • If you find black mold.


Ceiling tiles can cause many long- and short-term health problems, including:

  • Cancer
  • Respiratory problems
  • Allergies

Over the years, toxic substances such as asbestos, formaldehyde, and PVC have been used in ceiling tiles. It has been found that the tiles can cause significant health damage after installation if they are damaged, overheated, or exposed to excessive moisture. Another reason for health concerns related to ceiling tiles is water damage and mold growth.

When removing your ceiling tiles, there are some occasions where you should consider hiring a contractor. And one of the most important cases is when your ceiling contains asbestos.

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