Asbestos attic insulation is just one type that you might have in your home. This can be a great worry to those who discover it and they simply don't know what they should do about it. We are hearing all the time about asbestosis and how there are court cases against the employers. It's just a horrible material that can get into your lungs and cause cancer.
If you have vermiculite insulation then there is a distinct possibolty that you have asbestos in it. Vermiculite is just one of the many forms of insulation in the home and was very popular right up to the mid-80s. It has been estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that 940,000 or more American homes have this sort of insulation so it's certainly not uncommon.
Most of this insulation comes from the Libby Mine and the unfortunate thing is that asbestos deposts were found in this region which is why people are concerned about it in their homes. And sure enough tremolite asbestos has been found in this sort of insulation which is often used to insulat attics.
The reason that you will tend not to find this asbestos insulation in attics after the mid-80s is just because the company who mined it stoped production in 1984 and the mine was closed altogether in 1990. Of course, it's impossible to say exactly how long after this date the insulation was being sold for attics.
There are photos of Zonolite insulation on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But basically it's small puffed up nuggets measuring about 1/8 to ¼ inch in size. Normally they are a sort of silver/grey and gold/brown and can take on a glittery appearance. When it ages in your attic you will find that it becomes more black.
However it might be that you don't even have asbestos attic insulation at all and it could very well be rock wool instead. They have the same coloring but rock wool is the name suggests is more like wool rather than the puffy nuggest. Brown fibreglass is an other type you might have and it's actually white, pink or yello and is very fluffy just like candy floss. It might also be cellulose which is made up of shredded fiber. So before you start panicking, you might actually have one of these other types of insulation rather than Zonolite.
Most people automatically think the worse when it comes to asbestos attic insulation but the reality is that it's very harmless if left undistured. It's only when it becomes damaged that the asbestos spores are allowed to get into your system. Absbestos testing is important if you want to make sure what you ar dealing with. This can be done by specialist asbestos testing companies. You will find these details easily either on the internet or in your local Yellow Pages.
When it comes ot testing your asbestos attic insulation you can either have a company out to test it for you if you are particularly worried about it or you can send samples away for testing. This doesn't cost very much to do and it's a very simple and straight forward process.
If you have asbestos attic insulation you should make sure that you and your family don't go into or use the attic whatsoever. This will only help to stir up the fibres and potentially cause you health problems. It's OK to keep the insulation there as long as you stay way from it. However if you want to use your attic or do some home remodelling then you will have to dispose of it by a specialist contractor who is licensed to carry out such work. Under no circumstances should you attempt to remove the asbestos attic insulation yourself simply so that you can save money.