Originally Posted By: Caoimh?n P. Connell
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Just to chime in from a slightly different perspective...
I have about four thousand hours of writing specs, supervising asbestos removal projects and collecting thousands of samples for asbestos over the years; the costs you quoted seem rather high, but I have never supervised an abatement project in Canada.
As some of your colleagues pointed out, not all vermiculite contains asbestos (which occurs as a secondary mineralization) and typically where I have been concerned with the asbestos content in vermiculite, I was mostly concerned with the more rare tremolite variety, as opposed to the more common chrysotile. The reason being that the amphiboles pose a more significant toxicological risk upon exposure than the serpentine varieties of asbestos.
"Pure" asbestos can be easily and responsibly managed in place; so vermiculate should be also, (provided the structure and insulation are in good shape) with only a little bit of input from the homeowner, usually in the form of education (i.e.: Don?t go up into the attic, don?t drill holes in the ceiling, placard the entrances, etc).
If the homeowner wants a real slap-um-up risk assessment, they can hire an Industrial Hygienist to perform an exposure assessment and risk assessment for well under $1,000 (if they were in my driving area, I could do such a ?study? for less than that). The analysis costs for such a study would be under $70. I?m sure that such an exposure assessment would demonstrate that the risk from the stose in the vermiculite was vanishingly small to the diligent homeowner. (The assessment may also, however, find asbestos in the home from other building materials posing a greater risk).
Just my thoughts. I think the rest of your colleagues are on the right track.
Caoimh?n P. Connell
(The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)