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Is Asbestos Lurking in the Vermiculite Insulation in Your Home?

EMSL Analytical provides vermiculite testing services, sampling supplies and test kits to identify potential asbestos hazards to protect families and workers from exposure risks.

Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), approximately one million homes in the United States contain vermiculite attic insulation and the existing insulation in many older homes and buildings still need to be tested for asbestos. Vermiculite was a popular insulation choice for both attics and walls due to its light-weight, fire-resistant and odorless properties.

The reason vermiculite, a naturally-occurring mineral, is a concern is due to the fact that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that a mine near Libby, Montana, was the source of over 70% of all vermiculite sold in the United States from 1919 to 1990. There was also a deposit of asbestos at that mine, so the vermiculite from Libby was contaminated with asbestos. EPA recommends people: 

  • Leave vermiculite insulation undisturbed in attics or in walls.
  • Do not store boxes or other items in an attic if it contains vermiculite insulation.
  • Do not allow children to play in an attic with vermiculite insulation.
  • Do not attempt to remove the insulation yourself.
  • Hire a professional asbestos contractor if there is a plan to remodel or conduct renovations that would disturb the vermiculite in the attic or walls to make sure the material is safely handled and/or removed.

“If a home has vermiculite insulation and it’s not disturbed it typically won’t become an airborne threat,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “However, if remodeling, repair or demolition activities are going to take place, it’s important that any suspect vermiculite be tested before it is disturbed. A quick test can provide the answer to whether it contains asbestos or not. If it does, it needs to be handled appropriately so it doesn’t pose a threat to workers and anyone in the home or building.”

The leading vermiculite testing experts in the United States and Canada are found at EMSL Analytical, Inc. With testing laboratories across both countries, EMSL identifies asbestos from vermiculite insulation and other asbestos-containing materials, including floor tiles, popcorn ceilings, sheetrock and other products. They also offer all of the sampling supplies needed and carry a test kit specifically for vermiculite insulation. EMSL has even sponsored a video about vermiculite insulation that can be seen at:

To learn more about vermiculite insulation and asbestos testing services, please visit or, call (800) 220-3675 or email . For access to test kits, visit

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with 45 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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