The attic at today’s home was insulated with vermiculite. It was a foreclosed home with a drop down stairway so it was previously being used for storage. There were three unopened bags of unused vermiculite near the opening. I thought the “cartoon” pictures showing how to install the product was classic. Also see the “benefits” of the product printed on the bag.





And there is no need to have to have it tested…

Blow some cellulose/fiberglass over it and all’s good.

Do not disturb insulation…The attic floor is insulated with a material that appears to be expanded mica that was sold as vermiculite or zonolite. Expanded mica is a mineral, silicate that is lightweight, water absorbant, and expands at high temperatures, some of which is purported to contain asbestos. However, this could not be confirmed without viewing a sample of the material through a polarized light microscope. Regardless, its thermal value does not equal that of current insulators, and we recommend that you consult with a insulation contractor with a view to having it identified and endorsed, or replaced.

Billy, it floats in water.

Zonolite can release needle fibers of tremolite asbestos if it’s disturbed.


Nice narrative. I’m stealing that one. Thank you.

DO NOT DISTURB:margarit:

I know of some High Schools I worked on that I filled blocks with that stuff by the hundreds of backs.
I surely disturbed it when I poured the bags. ;):slight_smile:

The EPA considers all Vermiculite insulation to be contaminated with Asbestos. Goto the EPA website and copy the quote and use that in your report…what Agent can argue with the EPA?

Inspected a house on Monday with Zonolite in the attic. Located a partial piece of the bag, similar to Mark’s photo. Bulk samples were sent in for test just came back today - 2% Tremolite. Young couple (buyers) are probably going to walk away from deal.

You can note that it’s not to be disturbed, and I agree with that, but what about openings around ceiling fixtures that will allow particles to enter the living area? Because of the potential for contamination of asbestos it’s a good idea to have it tested. If removal is needed it’s expensive.

There is a brand of vermiculite I have found in Canada that does not have any asbestos in it.

I am from the town where the vermiculite was mined. The EPA has been here for 5 years doing cleanup not only on the mine but also the entire town. Any home or yard where the stuff is found is completely cleaned. And when I say cleaned I mean the top foot of soil is removed and replaced, attics are opened up and completely sucked bare and then insulated with safer product. If you have even the slightest doubt, don’t touch it. Recommend a qualified hazmat contractor test it.