Vermiculite and Asbestos fibers analysis for materials and indoor air samples

Vermiculite and asbestos fibers testing

Enviro-option inc. offers professional services for sampling and analysis of vermiculite and other materials (insulation, plaster, concrete, etc..) and dust for the identification of asbestos fibers.

Sampling and analysis of vermiculite and other materials made by professionals

Our inspectors are certified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the AHERA (Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act) as inspectors and asbestos project manager.

Analysis and testing of vermiculite and asbestos fibers are made by experienced laboratory counting asbestos fibers biochemists.

Air quality pump

Vermiculite insulation test

Inhaled by the body, asbestos dust is one of the main dangers in urban and industrial pollution. It is also subject to very strict legislation for its control or elimination, often up to a total ban.

The best way to reduce the risk of exposure to amphibole asbestos is to avoid disturbing vermiculite insulation in any way whatsoever. If the insulation is contained and away from the ambient air, the risk is minimal. If you think your home or business contains vermiculite insulation or other source that may contain asbestos fibers and insulation that worries you, do not hesitate to contact us.Our team will look to make a sample which is then analyzed by an accredited laboratory for the identification of asbestos fibers.

The samples of vermiculite insulation can also be brought to our office. However, sampling by one of our certified professionals ensure the quality of the sample as well as the traceability of it thus avoiding having to make new to sampling.

For more information contact us


Vermiculite - Asbestos Contamination

The potential risk to health associated with the vermiculite that was sold under the brand name Zonolite Attic Insulation and possibly other brands in Canada, has raised concerns recently. This is the ore in question, taken from the Libby Mine in Montana (before it closed in the 1990s) could contain small amounts of asbestos.

Vermiculite is a mica-like mineral mined around the world. It is lightweight and has good insulation and fire retardant properties.Vermiculite insulation bulk is brown, gray and brown and looks like diametrical stones between 2 to 10 millimeters.

Source: Division of Safety and Occupational Health, Labour and Immigration

Risks related to vermiculite containing asbestos

If bulk vermiculite insulation containing asbestos is disturbed, asbestos fibers may be released into the air. Inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause health problems in some people exposed, such as mesothelioma (cancer of the chest wall or abdominal cavity), lung cancer and asbestosis (formation in the lungs, scar tissue that interferes with breathing). As a general rule, asbestos disease appears only 15 to 20 years after initial exposure. Some factors increase the risk of developing the disease, as the number of fibers in the air as well as the frequency and duration of exposure. Smoking greatly increases the risk of developing an asbestos disease.

The best way to reduce the risk of asbestos exposure is to avoid disturbing vermiculite insulation in any way whatsoever. If the insulation is sealed into the floor or wall panels or a concrete wall in the attic, the risk of exposure is lower. In the presence of loose insulation installed before 1990 and visually identified as vermiculite, it is recommended to take the necessary precautions to prevent the inhalation of asbestos fibers and the contamination of the surrounding areas.

If a property owner hires a contractor to remove the vermiculite insulation, it must ensure that the contractor has experience in asbestos removal. Building owners should not attempt to remove this type of insulation themselves if they have no training on asbestos removal, procedures and do not have the required materials.

Isolant de vermiculite

Reduce risks

  • Avoid going in the attic;
  • Do not store anything in the attic;
  • If you must go to the attic, you must wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (eg. Filter mask of N, P, or R-100, clothing and gloves);
  • Make sure there is no cross contamination between the attic and other parts of the building. Apply caulking around electrical outlets, ceiling of the loft hatch, door frames and window, etc..;
  • If you plan to do renovations, or install or repair electrical wiring in the attic, make sure not to disturb vermiculite. It may be that you have to remove all the vermiculite before renovations.

A sample for analysis of the presence of asbestos

If a property owner chooses to analyze the vermiculite to see if it contains asbestos, the person taking the sample should wear a dust mask of N, P or R-100 series. Avoid taking the sample in the upper layer of loose-fill insulation. Asbestos is most often deposited in dust particles finer vermiculite. Samples should be taken from the lower sections of the attic and the bottom layer of insulation. There may be a negative test proves wrong, especially if the sample was not taken properly.

Ensure that the vermiculite sample for analysis are sent to a laboratory that is authorized to analyze asbestos presence.

Isolation de conduite en amiante

Vermiculite insulation removal

The vermiculite insulation removal must be done in the manner prescribed in the document entitled ''Guidelines for Working with Asbestos'', March 2000 - Type 2 remediation. Make sure the contractor whom remove the contaminated asbestos vermiculite follows the procedures specified in the guidelines.

Additional Information: