California Home Renovation Projects Cautioned about Vermiculite Insulation
As homes age and families expand, many people turn to home renovation projects to rejuvenate or enlarge the footprint of their home. This often involves demolition activities that may expose building occupants to the various forms of insulation found in walls, ceilings and attics.
Anyone thinking about embarking on a home renovation project in an older property should be on the lookout for insulation made from vermiculite. Vermiculite is a naturally-occurring mineral and as a light-weight, fire-resistant and odorless material it has been used in numerous products including loose-fill insulation. Sizes of vermiculite products range from very fine particles to large pieces that are approximately an inch long.
The majority of vermiculite that was sold in the United States came from a mine that was operational until 1990 that also had a deposit of amphibole asbestos. This means that much of the vermiculite insulation used up until that point is contaminated with asbestos.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports, “Asbestos can cause health problems when inhaled into the lungs. If products containing asbestos are disturbed, thin, lightweight asbestos fibers are released into the air. Persons breathing the air may breathe in asbestos fibers. Continued exposure increases the amount of fibers that remain in the lung. Fibers embedded in lung tissue over time may result in lung diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma.”
California residents concerned over the potential presence of asbestos-containing vermiculite insulation in their home can turn to the experts at LA Testing for answers. “Homeowners who suspect they have vermiculite insulation are encouraged to have it tested for asbestos before any home renovations occur or any activities that could aerosolize insulation materials in the home,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Garden Grove facility. “Samples are quickly processed at the laboratory in order for homeowners to know if asbestos is present so that any home renovation projects can proceed in a manner that doesn’t jeopardize the health of their families.”
LA Testing has sponsored an educational video about vermiculite insulation that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/WDNVhBwKmpc.
To learn more about vermiculite and asbestos testing services or other environmental, health and safety issues, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other substances. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Garden Grove, San Leandro and San Diego.
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