As troubling as it is, asbestos in attic insulation is a lot more common than you may realize. There are many materials that may be present in your attic that promote the existence of asbestos. Understanding what asbestos is and how you can test for it in your home, or specifically in the upstairs area of your house, is very important when it comes to securing the safety of you and your family. Just imagine what life will be like without the fear of this substance negatively affecting the health of everyone around you. Having a cleaner environment is the key to good health.
First, let us be clear what exactly asbestos is. Asbestos is a mineral substance that has been used in millions of homes across the country. While it is actually a very effective substance, and can be used to strengthen a large variety of home construction products; it was only recently discovered that it is potent and toxic if human beings are exposed to it over a long period of time. Discovering asbestos in your home can be very frightening if you are only aware of its negative side effects. Testing and remedying your home is immediately necessary if you discover this substance.
The specific asbestos in attic insulation you should look for is contained in vermiculite. Vermiculite is a product that was frequently used in attic walls and flooring. It should be noted that not every incidence of vermiculite contains asbestos, however if your house was created between the 1920s and the 1980s, your home is likely at most risk for being overcome with this substance. You will be able to identify vermiculite almost immediately because its appearance is loosely packed, as opposed to most other forms of insulation that tends to be fluffier in appearance and texture.
There are several ways to can test for asbestos in attic insulation. The first is described as the Cincinnati method, which is prescribed by the EPA. In essence, you should take a sample of your insulation, and then proceed to place it in a tub of water. The insulation will float on the surface of the water, while the asbestos mineral deposits will sink very quickly. This is a great test because there are few other substances included in vermiculite insulation that have a high density like asbestos. If you determine that you have asbestos in your insulation through this method, you should seek professional guidance.
The final alternative solution that you can use to test for asbestos in attic insulation is taking a sample and sending it to a scientific research facility that specializes in asbestos. While this will cost a little bit of money, scientists will be able to examine your insulation for microscopic asbestos particles. They will be able to provide you with a definitive answer as to whether or not your attic is infected with asbestos.
My List of Asbestos Articles.
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