Many people have heard of asbestos, but few are aware of the health risks concerning vermiculite.
Vermiculite is a natural-occurring mineral used in insulation for walls and attics. The material is light-weight, fire-resistant, and odorless; however, a lot of the vermiculite found in homes is contaminated with asbestos.
A mine near Libby, Montana, produced 70% of the vermiculite sold in the U.S. between 19 19 & 1990. The vermiculite was contaminated when the mine received a deposit of asbestos. Vermiculite was a popular material in the United States and Canada, sold under product names such as Zonolite. Vermiculite was one of few insulating materials permitted by the Canadian Home Insulation Program from about 1976 to the mid-1980’s.
Vermiculite is gray-brown or silver-gold, and pebble-like.
What You Need to Know:
It is important that you treat vermiculite as if it is asbestos and take percussion to ensure the safety of your family. Asbestos is dangerous when airborne and can cause cancers and other diseases. It is very important that you do not disturb vermiculite, as moving the insulation can cause the material to release fibers into the air. It is not possible to say whether exposure to asbestos will result in disease, but the amount and frequency of exposure increases the risk of development. It is important that you call a licensed contractor if you plan on disturbing vermiculite or asbestos in your home.
If you’re considering a home renovation and come across vermiculite, call the experts at Bachly Construction to assess the material and remove it in a safe and efficient manner. Our contractors are trained to follow stringent safety protocols to ensure the fibers do not deposit into the air or other areas in your home.