Vermiculite is a silvery gold to gray-brown mineral composed of shiny flakes. It was once used as insulation in most buildings. In case you’ve discovered that your home is insulated with vermiculite, you’re probably concerned about the potential dangers associated with it. Find out, in the rest of this article, if vermiculite really contains asbestos.
Origin of vermiculite
Understanding the origin of vermiculite will help you better solve the quest for your problem. A mine near Libby, Montana, was the source of more than 70% of all vermiculite sold in the United States from 1919 to 1990. There was also an asbestos deposit in this mine, so Libby’s vermiculite was contaminated. Most vermiculite insulation in the United States came from this mine and was often liquidated under the brand name Zonolite by the American company WR Grace. This company made its revenue with homebuilders and consumers throughout North America.
This serves to insulate attics and walls all around the chimney ducts. It should be noted that other mine sites did not have this contamination problem. These observed discrepancies mean, among other things, that not all vermiculites sold before the 1990s contain asbestos. However, if your attic is insulated with Zonolite brand vermiculite, it is very likely that it contains asbestos.
Health risks associated with contaminated vermiculite
Your health remains affected when you are exposed frequently and for a long time to high concentrations of asbestos. Generally, health risks to this mineral occur years after inhalation. We can list:
- Asbestosis: This is a common asbestos disease in which the internal lung tissue is severely healed. It is not fatal like cancerous tumors, but it can lead to respiratory or heart failure since it worsens gradually;
- Mesothelioma: This is a form of cancer of the lining of the lungs, chest, abdomen and heart. It is quite aggressive and deadly;
- Lung cancer: Lung tumours can occur immediately in an exposed person. In addition, other sources of disease such as smoking combined with the inhalation of asbestos greatly increase the risk to health.
The best option to prevent these diseases is to limit the risks to asbestos. For this, you need to avoid direct handling with vermiculite.
Use ICMulticoncept to better manage any material containing asbestos
In the event that the vermiculite in your home contains asbestos, we strongly recommend that you leave it in place as long as it is in a somewhat isolated place. Attempting to remove contaminated vermiculite without professional help is like engaging in some pretty dangerous practices. Failure to disrupt vermiculite reduces the risk of exposure to asbestos. As mentioned above, inhaling this material can have serious repercussions on our health. Therefore, to remove vermiculite from a house containing asbestos, you need to hire a highly qualified company such as us.
For many years, ICMulticoncept has been the company best authorized to manage these cases. We help homeowners get rid of asbestos. Our team of asbestos removal experts has the tools and knowledge to safely remove asbestos. As specialists, we are in the best position to handle and remove asbestos without creating fiber spread inside your property. Moreover, it should be noted that the elimination of asbestos is not just a simple action. This involves a careful planning process.
During the asbestos removal process, our certified technicians are equipped with protective suits and breathing apparatus to protect themselves throughout the operation. The area that contains the asbestos is then sealed before starting anything. It is essential that asbestos fibres do not spread through the air. This is the reason why they will be packed in sealed packages. These bags will then be removed from the building and transported to an appropriate disposal location. Once the work is complete, our experts will perform a final inspection. This ensures that your space is completely free of asbestos particles that could harm you and your family. This process will ensure the safety of the entire household.