Friday, December 12, 2014
What Is Vermiculite Insulation And Is It Safe?
Vermiculite insulation consists of a natural occurring mineral that expands into a worm-like or accordion shaped pieces when it is heated. It is a light-weight mater that is fire resistant, absorbent, and odorless. Many products are made from this material including attic insulation.
You can buy this type of insulation in various forms for various uses. Sizes range from very fine particles to large or coarse pieces that are almost an inch long. It is a pebble-like shaped and is usually light brown or gold in color.
Before 1990, much of the vermiculite insulation in the world came from a vermiculite mine located near Libby, Montana. That mine had a natural deposit of asbestos that contaminated the vermiculite. The mine has since closed.
Today, most of the material is mined at three U.S. Facilities and in other countries which have low levels of contamination in the finished material.
Asbestos can cause serious health problems when inhaled into the lungs. Products containing this substance should not be disturbed. The thin, lightweight fibers are released into the air and breathed in.
Continued exposure to asbestos increases the amount of fibers that remain in the lung. Fibers in the lung tissue over time can result in diseases such as lung cancer, or mesothelioma. Smokers have increased risk of developing this disease.
For this reason, you should not ever disturb the vermiculite material. If you do, you risk the fibers being released in the air and breathed in.
The testing techniques used to test the vermiculite for asbestos and not always certain, so you don’t know for sure how much of the material may exist. You should never use it yourself for things such as storage, packing materials, or anything else.
Keep your children away from the material, don’t let them play in the attic if there are open areas of Omaha vermiculite insulation.
If you plan to remodel, be sure you have hired professional remodelers that are trained and certified to handle the insulation materials safely. Even if they protect themselves from any floating particles, YOU or your loved ones will not be.
You should never attempt to remove insulation yourself. Proper techniques are required for disposal of this material. You want to ensure the safety of everyone who could be exposed.
You can get more information about Vermiculite attic insulation from the Environmental Protection Agency. Call 1-80-471-7127, which is the asbestos hot line or visit their website at www.epa.gov/asbestos.