is vermiculite safe


It’s often up to home inspectors to spot the difference between the vermiculite that contains asbestos and the kind that does not. The Zonolite Attic Insulation Trust was established in 2014 to help homeowners with the cost of removing Zonolite Attic Insulation from their homes. Vermiculite produced by the Libby Mine has not been on the market in Canada for more than 10 years. You're probably familiar with this mica-like mineral as a potting mix additive: it breaks up the soil, providing better aeration, and it retains water and fertilizer. Next, read: How to Improve Attic Ventilation. The name “vermiculite” is derived from the Latin word for worm, a reference to the wormy threads of material which form when vermiculite is exfoliated. Vermiculite has many uses, from insulation to swimming pools. Vermiculite which is accompanied by a great deal of dust likely has residual asbestos in its contents and should be used with caution. Here are other things you can’t just toss in the trash at home. Vermiculite is a fairly safe material to use, because as we mentioned earlier, this is a natural mineral. So, if you have vermiculite insulation, look into this. It is sensitive to mechanical compression, which may pulverize particles. Vermiculite was mined in Libby, Montana, from the 1920s until the mine closed in 1990. But some people might wonder if vermiculite is safe. As with all other materials it is important to adopt normal good working practices and to comply with local and national regulatory requirements. According to its material safety data sheet (MSDS), uncontaminated vermiculite is only classified as a "nuisance dust." Both perlite and vermiculite are safe, effective and easy to use for gardening. The United States’ Environmental Protection Agency has conducted similar testing and come to the same conclusion – that horticultural vermiculite is considered safe and does not pose an elevated risk of cancer to the user. This level represents a health risk if the asbestos is inhaled, with exposure to the fibers resulting in serious respiratory diseases. Nicole LeBoeuf-Little is a freelancer from New Orleans, writing professionally since 1994. Here are other things you can’t just toss in the trash at home. For decades, W … All the health concerns related to vermiculite are related to the Libby Montana mine. But, as part of a major class-action lawsuit, a study determined that exposure to vermiculite with less than 1 percent asbestos is still a potential health hazard and the product should be considered an ACM. However, because the fine dust particles can irritate the respiratory system, it’s advisable to wear a protective mask. As of today, vermiculite is considered safe for organic gardening as long as it does not contain dust. This association originates in a mine near Libby, Montana, which supplied over 70 percent of all vermiculite available in the U.S. from 1919 until the mine's closure in 1990. Today, most vermiculite is safe. Unfortunately, an estimated 75 percent of it came from Libby, Montana, where it usually was contaminated with toxic amphibole asbestos. The vast majority of tests come back having less than 1 percent asbestos. Add a healthy scoop of vermiculite to the potting soil of plants that like lots of water. Even though vermiculite and perlite are safe for vegetables, that doesn’t mean they are necessary for them. Vermiculite has many uses, from insulation to swimming pools. Vermiculite in its pure form is safe. Such a low silicate content makes it largely harmless to the lungs; if you breathe it, you won't suffer irreversible damage. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer). The reason this can be said with confidence today is that it was not always the case. Current EPA regulations ban products which contain 1% or more asbestos. Although testing of vermiculite mined in the U.S. is stringent, the examination of vermiculite in other countries is not always so rigorous. Vermiculite is best used for water-loving plants that need their soil to stay moist at all times. This category, also known as "inert dust," contains less than 1 percent quartz. All plants need good drainage, but certain vegetables will do better with really loose and aerated soil. It is a lightweight, safe, loose and easy-to-use dry product. Disposal of vermiculite is not hazardous to the environment. That means no asbestos abatement contractors get involved, and removal of the vermiculite insulation is done with essentially a giant vacuum. The risk of airborne particles in this method is high. Learn about the vermiculite lightweight concrete, thermal insulation for many heat resistant applications and fireproofing. It's also a pH-neutral way to add calcium and magnesium. While vermiculite does not inherently contain asbestos, it has become popularly associated with the risk of asbestos inhalation to the point that some gardeners will not use it at all. While it’s true that undisturbed, encapsulated asbestos doesn’t pose a health risk, the asbestos in vermiculite insulation isn’t encapsulated and can easily become airborne during cleaning, maintenance or remodeling. Vermiculite from other sources has since been tested and proven to be asbestos free and harmless. If your home was built before 1990, you might have vermiculite insulation in your walls or attic. What is vermiculite and how to use it? People have a problem with it because they don't understand how it works. In the past, asbestos was found in some vermiculite mines. Vermiculite is safe as long as it has moisture. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. Because vermiculite is soft, sterile, absorbent and free-flowing, it works well as a support and carrying medium for certain types of nutrients, including vitamin preparations, fat concentrations and molasses. And according to the Zonolite Attic Insulation Trust (see “The good news” below), the presence of vermiculite is tantamount to the presence of asbestos. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from University of Washington and attended the professional SF/F workshop Viable Paradise. Your potting soil additive is probably safe. Vermiculite itself is safe to use; there is no evidence that any acute or chronic toxicity or carcinogenicity exists from long-term exposure to vermiculite. If not, what's a good substitute? Earlier when vermiculite was mined, the ore often contained asbestos. 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