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Contaminated vermiculite insulation and asbestos exposure

As a follow-up to a recent blog post discussing the dangers of vermiculite insulation, we thought it was a good idea to talk more on this subject. Specifically, we wanted to address this type of insulation in the hopes of helping residents in Illinois and other areas recognize whether their homes contain this substance.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), vermiculite is a natural substance. In terms of construction, it is often referred to as loose-fill insulation. Composed of shiny flakes, which expand when exposed to high-temperatures, vermiculite is lightweight, odorless and resistant to fire. These attributes made the substance a good choice for use as insulation.

Unfortunately, any kind of exposure to vermiculite may lead to mesothelioma/asbestos-related illnesses, even if the material remains undisturbed. As even more awareness about the dangers of asbestos insulation spreads, Americans want to know how to identify this substance inside their own homes.

Since it can be nearly impossible to spot vermiculite based on a simple description of the product, we recommend comparing the insulation in your home to images of vermiculite. The EPA offers many photos of the substance on their website you can use for comparison.

If you believe your home contains this material, a good next step is seeking an opinion from a contractor who specializes in asbestos. Once you are armed with authoritative information about your home's insulation, you will be best equipped to decide if you want to have the material safely removed.

Removal of asbestos products comes with certain risks, mainly the danger of increasing exposure during the removal process. Whenever asbestos is disturbed, the chances of breathing in the fibers increases, which is why you want to make sure you hire only an experienced contractor to perform this work.

We have published a wealth of information about mesothelioma/asbestos-related illness on our website. We urge you to visit us to learn more about the illness and to explore the available legal options.

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