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As far as the asbestos, I am not sure. I would suppose it is possible. Your best bet is to call someone in from your city to inspect it before you start. Just remember, the tile that is on your ceiling is very messy to tear off. Please remember to wear safety glasses, masks and gloves when dealing with this stuff.
I don't know if this is any help, but at least someone gave it a shot!!!
I would also advise a drop cieling. They make a varitey of tile styles. And as mentioned above, if you ever wanted to add anything, or repair a problem, you just move them out of the way. Just my $.02.