Possible Vermiculite

Hey Gang
Does anyone have a larger picture of the gold colored pellet form vermiculite. May have run into it in a foreclosed property attic and wanted to CMA. I will send a picture when if I cannot confirm…hoping y’all could help


There is a free vermiculite insulation course offered by INACHI. Look under educational resources.

INACHI offers a free course on it with pictures. If you look at the menu on the left under Education, Education Resources, and then scroll down you will find it.



does it have a spongy texture to it. Larry the pictures you sent are great and look exactly like what I have but, it has a spongy type of texture most minerals I know of do not have that feel.
you guys are the best

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Vermiculite is light weight and I guess could be described as spongy. The spongy aspect of it is why it was used for insulation. If it were rock hard it could not insulate. It is also used in potted plants to help keep the soil loose and retain water. If it is in the attic you are looking at, wear a mask to protect yourself. It contains asbestos in the vermiculite itself.

Exploded mica.

It contains asbestos if it was mined in Libby, Montana. Only lab analysis can verify if it contains asbestos. Don’t make a fool of yourself stating it contains asbestos if you haven’t had it analyzed by an accredited lab. Analysis is cheap.

Linas is correct. Here is an image from a recent inspection.

I overspoke. I agree that all vermiculite does not contain asbestos, but since you do not know this at time of inspection a mask should be worn for the inspector’s protection and I think the client should be made aware in the report that vermiculite insulation appears to be present and it might contain asbestos, it should not be disturbed, and that only further analysis by a lab can confirm asbestos being present.

Actually according to the reading I have done, the fact that it came from Libby doesn’t necessarily mean it has asbestos. It’s my understanding that at the Libby mine, there were several veins of asbestos that got mixed in. Some of the bags produced did have asbestos, yet others did not.

Therefore, even the EPA states that testing is inconclusive. And that if you have vermiculite insulation you should simply assume that it does contain asbestos. The reason behind this is because, since not all bags were contaminated, the bag that is in the back of your attic could have asbestos, but the bag next to your scuttle might not. If you test at the scuttle, and it comes back negative, you then live under a false premise that the home is asbestos free. Certainly if the test came back positive you would know for sure it is there, but a negative test doesn’t really tell you anything.

BTW, quit playing with it and “squishing” it. That texture comes when they heat it, and it “pops up” like popcorn. That’s what makes it a good insulator. The EPA says to leave it alone and don’t disturb it.

I found an attic full of vermiculite on a recent inspection.
Did all i could not to disturb it and make it friable.
I reported on the possibility of asbestos fibres contaminating it, recommended it was not disturbed at all. Provided a link to EPA page.

Check this site out, great for vermiculite http://www.thescottlawgroup.com/zonoliteatticinsulation/Home.html

Good site for vermiculite!

That is a great site, thanks!

Thanks for the web site link. Very helpful.