During a home renovation, protecting your family from asbestos becomes a significant concern in older structures. From popcorn ceilings to vermiculite insulation, the possibility of needing asbestos removal in Boston homes is quite significant. At Atlantic Bay Contracting, our team is here to help ensure your asbestos concerns are remedied with care and accuracy. However, to do so, one must first understand the problem at hand.
In this article, we’re focusing on one of the least commonly understood sources of asbestos – vermiculite insulation.
What is vermiculite?
Like asbestos fibers, vermiculite is a naturally occurring mineral. Resembling mica, this material is composed of shiny flakes and provides superior fire resistance. Because of the natural strength and properties it provides, vermiculite has been used in numerous products, including the attic and wall insulation.
How does asbestos come into play?
Although there are many similar features, vermiculite and asbestos are completely separate fibers. So, how did the two become correlated? During the times of 1919 and 1990, nearly 70% of all vermiculite was sourced from a mine near Libby, Montana. It was later discovered that the mine also contained asbestos. Thus the vermiculite was assumed contaminated.
According to the EPA, if you have vermiculite insulation in your home, you should assume the material may be contaminated with asbestos.
What is your exposure risk?
While there is no “safe” level of asbestos exposure, undisturbed fibers may pose a lessor threat. It is during renovations that asbestos fibers are released into the air posing various health risks through inhalation. If you know that your home (walls and especially attics) contains vermiculite insulation, it’s imperative that you do not disturb it in any way.
Handling this insulation allows asbestos fibers to release into the air and potentially circulate throughout your home’s ventilation system. Exposure increases the risk of developing asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. The risk levels vary depending on the length and amount of individual exposure.
What you SHOULD do
Knowing or discovering that this type of insulation is in your home warrants an immediate call to a team of professionals, like Atlantic Bay Contracting. Even if you are uncertain, calling in the professionals will confirm or rule out the presence of asbestos in your home.
For more information or to schedule your consultation with an experienced team of asbestos professionals, contact Allen Young at Atlantic Bay Contracting today (617) 987-4977. With decades of succesfull asbestos removal in Boston, you can have peace of mind knowing that your home is in the very best hands!