Few things about this trade scare me like this stuff. Did any of you watch the two part series about vermiculite a couple nights ago on Nightline? The company lied for years about the extreme hazards of this product, all while making millions on it and the white house covered it up. Grrrr!!!!!! They are now saying that just one inhaled breath of this stuff can initiate a horrible death sentence down the road. PLEASE everyone, watch out for this stuff! They also said we are only seeing the very beginning of many, many cancer cases/lawsuits to come. It was placed in MILLIONS of homes!! Please read the following --- EPA Issues Vermiculite Insulation Warning
WASHINGTON, D.C.—May 27, 2003—After receiving negative press attention for its failure to warn homeowners of the dangers of asbestos–containing vermiculite insulation, the federal government has finally launched a consumer awareness campaign about the material. The new program comes over a year after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) halted the release of a similar campaign at the urging of the White House. (See White House Squelched Alert on Asbestos Insulation.)
As a first step, the EPA and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) are distributing a pamphlet to the media and hardware stores. It explains how to identify and manage vermiculite, a mineral ore resembling mica that is used in insulation and potting soil. The majority of vermiculite is derived from a mine in Libby, Montana that contains asbestos. By some estimates, up to 35 million homes in the United States may be insulated with asbestos–contaminated Zonolite, which is the brand name for most vermiculite insulation.
Vermiculite attic insulation is a pebble–like, pour–in product that is usually light brown or gold in color. The EPA recommends that consumers assume that any vermiculite insulation contains asbestos and take appropriate precautions. It provides this advice to homeowners:
Do not disturb vermiculite attic insulation. Any disturbance has the potential to release asbestos fibers into the air.
If you must go into attic space containing vermiculite insulation, make every effort to limit the number, duration, and activity level of those trips. Boxes or other items should not be stored in attics if retrieving them will disturb the insulation.
Do not allow children to play in an attic with open areas of vermiculite insulation.
Never attempt to remove vermiculite insulation. If removal is necessary, hire professionals trained and certified to safely remove the material.
If you plan to remodel or conduct renovations that would disturb the vermiculite, hire professionals trained and certified to handle asbestos to safely remove the material.
Homeowners can learn more about asbestos vermiculite through the EPA Hotline at 1–800–471–7127. The EPA has also issued a preliminary study of homes with asbestos–contaminated vermiculite insulation. The study points out that disturbing the vermiculite through routine repairs or remodeling can cause asbestos fibers to become airborne. The full text of the report is on the EPA web site.
More info can be found at: http://www.occupationalhazards.com/articles/12965
[This message has been edited by sponge (edited 11-06-2005).]