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What is Vermiculite?

Vermiculite is a mineral that was used for insulation because it is naturally fire resistant and has strong insulation properties. Visually, it appears like a pellet-shaped, loose-fill insulation in gray, brown, or silver-gold colors. If your home was built before 1990, you might have vermiculite insulation in your walls or attic. In Canada the primary source of all vermiculite insulation came from a mine in Libby, Montana, sold under the name Zonolite. This mine also had a natural deposit of asbestos which resulted in the vermiculite becoming cross contaminated with asbestos.

Why is Vermiculite dangerous?

Breathing vermiculite dust is definitely dangerous. Vermiculite dust often contains asbestos fibers because of the cross contamination that occurred while the mineral was being mined. Inhaling asbestos fibers can cause asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma; the latency period for asbestos-related cancers ranges from 15 to 45 years.


Encapsulated vermiculite (ex. vermiculite installed in wall cavities) is not particularly dangerous, as long as no one opens up the wall or engages in demolition. Disturbing vermiculite insulation on an attic floor is definitely dangerous.


Exposure to asbestos increases your risk of developing lung diseases. The risk of disease increases as the level, duration, and frequency of exposure increases. 

Asbestos poses too high a risk to your health, your family and your customers for you to take vermiculite contamination lightly. To avoid the health hazards of asbestos, people in buildings with vermiculite should consider getting asbestos testing and insulation removal if necessary.

Vermiculite Removal

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Vermiculite Removal

Vermiculite removal is always a high risk procedure which starts with giving notice to Occupation Health and Safety. Our asbestos technicians are fully-trained and certified professionals with the asbestos-specific equipment necessary to remove vermiculite safely from your attic. 

The abatement consists of setting up a containment with access to the attic which is kept under negative pressure, removal is completed using HEPA vacuums and disposal is in double 6 mil asbestos bags. Once all the insulation is removed a third party consultant provides a visual check and an air clearance sample is taken. As soon as the clearance sample comes back and the area is safe to re-occupy then the containment can be taken down and equipment removed.

Note: Vermiculite insulation can commonly be found underneath other forms of insulation such as blown in or batt insulation so it is important to check all the way to the ceiling before doing any work or removing attic insulation.


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We are proud to call Saskatchewan home, and happily provide the best customer services and quality of work that Saskatchean has to offer in the world of Asbestos Removal. Call us, we can help with any Asbestos Removal project you have in Southern & Central Saskatchewan.



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PO Box 1286

Lumsden, SK S0G 3C0

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