The last thing an inspector expects to see is Vermiculite insulation in the attic of a 2001 house in Vaudreuil-Dorion.  The attic had regular fibreglass insulation however where the ducts when through the drywall, the contractor dumped loose fill vermiculite insulation around the pipes. This vermiculite insulation was probably Asbestos free since the A/C unit was installed by a reputable company and is probably not 20 year old supplies from the company’s warehouse – why the contractor didn’t use loose fill cellulose insulation instead of a product that has such a bad reputation.

Asbestos is a dangerous product that may exist in the vermiculite insulation in your attic and/or walls. If the vermiculite insulation was installed prior to 1990, it should be assumed that it contains Asbestos. Just because you get a sample tested and it comes back negative doesn’t mean that you don’t have asbestos in your vermiculite insulation. It is possible that the small sample taken did not contain any asbestos fibers and a future test will return positive results. However, vermiculite insulation is not the only product in older homes that can contain Asbestos since products such as roofing shingles, siding, insulation around hot water a tank, acoustical ceiling tiles, plaster, spackle, paint, drywall and caulking may also contain Asbestos. For the full document, see http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/maho/yohoyohe/inaiqu/inaiqu_001.cfm

From a Health Canada document, “Products made from vermiculite ore produced by the Libby Mine were not widely used after the mid-1980's and have not been on the market in Canada since 1990. Not all vermiculite produced before 1990 contains amphibole asbestos fibres. However, to be safe and in the absence of evidence to the contrary, it is reasonable to assume that if your building has older vermiculite-based insulation, it may contain some amphibole asbestos.” For the full document, go to http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/prod/insulation-isolant-eng.php

Other health Canada documentation is available at the following links:
   http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/house-domes/decor/construct_asbestos-amiante-eng.php
   http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/advisories-avis/_2004/2004_14-eng.php

On the Québec CSST site, it states “…Les produits de vermiculite provenant de cette mine n'ont pas été très utilisés depuis le milieu des années 1980 et ne devraient plus se retrouver sur le marché canadien depuis une dizaine d'années…..". For the full document, go to http://www.reptox.csst.qc.ca/Produit.asp?no_produit=178806&nom=Zonolite&incr=0