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Asbestos Insulation

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (more information) (EPA), asbestos is commonly found in insulation, especially in homes built between the years 1930 and 1950. Asbestos is known for its fire-proofing capabilities and was therefore thought of as a “miracle” fiber that could provide not only home insulation, but fire-protection as well.

Insulation used in attics or walls and produced from vermiculite ore may also contain asbestos fibers. Between 1923 and 1990 this type of ore was mined in Libby, Montana, and supplied much of the world. The ore is dangerous because the mine it came from had a natural asbestos deposit, which contaminated the ore.

Does Your Insulation Contain Asbestos?

How can you tell if your home’s insulation contains harmful asbestos fibers? Here are a questions you should answer:

• What is the brand of your insulation? If it’s Zonolite, it might contain asbestos because this brand’s vermiculite insulation was tainted by asbestos for many years.
• What’s the appearance of the insulation? Asbestos insulation looks like grooved paper covered in tape or the material used to cast a broken bone.
• How old is your home? Homes built between 1930 and 1950 are most likely to have asbestos insulation.

How to Deal with Asbestos Insulation

The most important thing to remember if you have asbestos insulation in your home is to avoid touching or disturbing it at all times. Any type of disturbance can send asbestos particles into the air to be inhaled, which can then wreak serious health hazards.

If you’re still unsure whether your insulation contains asbestos, contact the insulation’s manufacturer. If it’s determined you do in fact have asbestos insulation, hire a certified asbestos professional to properly remove it from your home. Proper disposal procedures can prevent any asbestos from becoming airborne and keep your home from being further contaminated.

Back to The Danger of Asbestos