What is vermiculite insulation?

Vermiculite in insulation is a pebble-like, blown-in product and usually light-brown or gold in color. Sizes of vermiculite products range from very fine particles to large (coarse) pieces nearly an inch long. If you have vermiculite insulation in your attic, you should assume that the material may contain asbestos.
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Is vermiculite insulation safe?

By not disturbing the vermiculite, you are reducing your chances for exposure to asbestos. If vermiculite is disturbed, it could cause tiny, needle-like asbestos fibers to become airborne. Asbestos in the air can be inhaled and cause lung damage. If asbestos is not in the air, it is not dangerous to your lungs.
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How can I tell if my vermiculite insulation contains asbestos?

How can I tell if my vermiculite insulation contains asbestos? The majority of all vermiculite insulation pro- duced before 1990 used contaminated vermicu- lite from Libby. Asbestos fibers in vermiculite are too small to be seen by the naked eye. Only a trained technician using a microscope can see asbestos fibers.
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Does vermiculite need to be removed?

The EPA recommends that vermiculite insulation be left undisturbed. Airborne asbestos fibers present a health risk through inhalation, so the first step is to not disturb the material, which could release fibers into the air. If you disturb the insulation, you may inhale some asbestos fibers.
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Does old vermiculite insulation have asbestos in it?

Not all vermiculite products contain asbestos, but some do. An EPA study showed some vermiculite products contain low levels of asbestos. Asbestos is found primarily in the unmixed vermiculite product although some was found in pre-mixed potting soils.
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Vermiculite Great Insulation: Asbestos Safety, What does Vermiculite Look Like



Is vermiculite safe now?

Vermiculite is a naturally occurring mineral that is perfectly safe when pure. Unfortunately, an estimated 75 percent of it came from Libby, Montana, where it usually was contaminated with toxic amphibole asbestos. Exposure to asbestos is the main cause of mesothelioma, an aggressive and deadly cancer.
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When did they stop using vermiculite insulation?

Vermiculite is a mineral that was used for insulation. If your home was built before 1990, you might have vermiculite insulation in your walls or attic.
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What can I do about vermiculite in my attic?

We recommend that you: Leave vermiculite insulation undisturbed in your attic or in your walls. Do not store boxes or other items in your attic if it contains vermiculite insulation. Do not allow children to play in an attic with vermiculite insulation.
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Can I remove vermiculite insulation myself?

The EPA strongly recommends that "you should never attempt to remove the insulation yourself. Hire professionals trained and certified to safety remove the material." Although they don't recommend it, generally states allow homeowners to remove vermiculite from their own homes.
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How do I remove vermiculite from my attic?

Vermiculite Removal: Certified crew use the latest external industrial strength vacuums with sealed hoses and heavy duty filtration to completely remove all the contaminated vermiculite. Disposal: Asbestos vermiculite is collected in air tight containers and disposed of in a responsible manner.
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What happens if you breathe in asbestos once?

It is possible to develop an illness such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, pleural effusions or lung cancer after a one-time exposure to asbestos if the exposure was significant enough to lead to asbestos particles lodging in the body's tissues. The 9/11 attack is a common example.
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What type of insulation was used in the 1940s?

The 1930s – 1940s

When researcher Dale Kleist attempted to create a vacuum seal between two glass blocks, an accidental stream of high-pressured air turned some of the glass into thin fibers. These fibers became the base of fiberglass insulation, which became popular in the 1940s.
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What does vermiculite insulation feel like?

Vermiculite is a "loose fill" insulation that looks like a mixture of small grade gravel nuggets, but is soft when squeezed, just like popcorn. The pieces can be a mix of gray, light brown, dark-brown, silver, or gold.
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How do you deal with vermiculite?

How can workers be protected from asbestos-contaminated vermiculite?
  1. Avoid handling or disturbing loose vermiculite.
  2. Isolate work areas with temporary barriers or enclosures to avoid spreading fibers.
  3. Use wet methods, if feasible, to reduce exposure.
  4. Never use compressed air for cleaning.
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Does vermiculite ceilings contain asbestos?

Not all vermiculite contains asbestos. Only scientific testing will determine if the vermiculite contains asbestos. Vermiculite is a silver-gold to gray-brown mineral that isflat and shiny in its natural state. When heated to around 1000 degrees C, itpops (or puffs up) which creates pockets of air.
View complete answer on asbestosawareness.com.au


What can I use instead of vermiculite?

Alternatives to Vermiculite
  • Peat. Peat (also known as peat moss) is light and holds moisture well but not does not stay soggy. ...
  • Coir. Coir is coconut dust. ...
  • Perlite. Like vermiculite, perlite is an inorganic matter added to the garden to improve water drainage and permeability. ...
  • Sawdust. ...
  • Shredded Hardwood Bark or Wood Chips.
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Can I vacuum up vermiculite?

A large shop vacuum works best in attics. Line the shop vac with heavy-gauge plastic bags and start sucking up the vermiculite. Each bag should be securely closed, taken to a storage area, and labeled. You'll need to call your local landfill to see the regulations on vermiculite transportation and storage.
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Can you spray foam over vermiculite?

It's dangerous to perform any attic air sealing work until all of the vermiculite has been removed by a certified asbestos abatement contractor, at a cost ranging from $7,000 to $12,000. It's dangerous to install cellulose insulation on top of the vermiculite.
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How much exposure to asbestos causes mesothelioma?

Pleural is the most common type, representing about 75% of all mesothelioma cases. Out of all people with heavy, prolonged exposure to asbestos, 2% to 10% develop pleural mesothelioma. Symptoms of mesothelioma usually do not show until 20-50 years after asbestos exposure, which is when tumors have grown and spread.
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Is vermiculite flammable?

It is noncombustible and non-flammable. HEALTH EFFECTS OR RISKS FROM EXPOSURE. mask suitable for nuisance dust.
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Is vermiculite toxic to dogs?

Dog Curiosity

Chewing volcanic perlite, a form of volcanic glass, could damage teeth. Vermiculite remains swollen and might cause health problems but would feel mushy when eaten.
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What kind of insulation is used in attics?

First, let's discuss the most common types of insulation available for attics: fiberglass batts, cellulose, loose-fill fiberglass and spray foam. More options exist, but these four materials make up the vast majority of installations.
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Does Lowes sell vermiculite?

Burpee Organic Vermiculite Improves Soil Structure in the Soil Amendments department at Lowes.com.
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What is vermiculite made from?

Vermiculite is a naturally occurring mineral (magnesium-aluminum-iron silicate) that is mined in various countries around the world, including the USA and South Africa. It gets its name from the Latin 'vermiculare', which means to breed worms, and the English suffix 'ite' which mean mineral or rock.
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Is vermiculite the same as perlite?

We've already covered the biggest difference: Vermiculite will mix with soil and help to retain water. Perlite, on the other hand, will add drainage to the soil that it's mixed with. Vermiculite finds its way into many seed starting systems.
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