Vermiculite

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Vermiculite

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Tyrone Wheeler

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Posted: Nov 15, 2005 5:41 PM       Post Subject:
I had recently done an inspection on a house that used vermiculite insulation in the attic, not uncommon in an 80 year old house. The purchaser sent a sample to a lab for testing, and the results were that it contained a small portion of asbestos.
Hers the problem;
To have the vermiculite removed would cost $15-$20,000.00
And it would take between 1 1/2 to 2 weeks to complete.
Is this a accurate quote?
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Marcel Cyr

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Posted: Nov 15, 2005 6:01 PM       Post Subject:
icon_smile.gif icon_smile.gif

I would definitely check with other abatement contractors, this is outrageous.

Marcel
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Tyrone Wheeler

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Posted: Nov 15, 2005 6:08 PM       Post Subject:
To add fuel to the fire, its only 350 square feet
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cmccann
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Posted: Nov 15, 2005 6:19 PM       Post Subject:

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My understanding is that unless you plan on moving it around all the time, just leave it alone, and cover with insulation.

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Tyrone Wheeler

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Posted: Nov 15, 2005 6:38 PM       Post Subject:
I wish it were that easy, but Health Canada has issued an advisory that only mentioned the word "asbestos" and everyone has a panic attack.
So one person removes the vermiculite, and the rest of the country has to do the same.
see.
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/iyh-vsv/prod/insulation-isolant_e.html[/url]
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Paul Hinsperger

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Posted: Nov 15, 2005 7:25 PM       Post Subject:
Chuck is correct.

The Health Canada is correct.
Quote:
The best way to minimize your risk of amphibole asbestos exposure is to avoid disturbing vermiculite-based insulation in any way. If vermiculite-based insulation is contained and not exposed to the home or interior environment, it poses very little risk.


The media sensationalizes it and gets people into a panic. (I get many more asbestos questions since it aired several weeks back than I did before)

If take the time with your client to explain the background reasoning behind not distrubing it and encapulating it, I find the vast majority of them will sleep better at night.

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Adam Slimack

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Posted: Nov 15, 2005 7:30 PM       Post Subject:
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Adam Slimack

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Posted: Nov 15, 2005 7:36 PM       Post Subject:
People investing in a piece of real estate also often take into account the potential increased difficulty in finding a buyer when they want to sell it in the future. Its not always a simple for some as that.

Once they are aware of its presence, they are in a position to have to disclose it in the future. This may cause some potential buyers to reconsider.

Adam, A Plus
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cmccann
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Posted: Nov 15, 2005 7:46 PM       Post Subject:

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http://www.schundler.com/atticinsulation.htm

Some good info here.

Among people who were exposed to or worked with only the expanded, processed vermiculite, we don't know of any one who has become sick or developed asbestosis or mesothelioma from exposure to Libby, Montana vermiculite. This may be because if any fibers are found in the expanded Libby material, the levels of asbestos are very, very low. And most people simply are not exposed to expanded vermiculite enough to ever develop problems at these levels.
To put EPA's results into perspective, it should be noted that asbestos has been in and around homes for years. It was used in virtually all home-heating appliances like toasters, ovens, stoves, irons, hair driers, and floor heaters. Electrical cords and plugs for these appliances often had "bundles" of pure asbestos fibers in and around them. Asbestos also was used in floor tiles, cement siding, roofing shingles, refractory cements, and many furnaces. And it was used in automobile brakes and clutches. To be sure, it is not the mere presence of asbestos that is potentially dangerous----what can and is dangerous is if people are exposed to very high levels of respirable asbestos fibers over a long period of time.

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Marcel Cyr

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Posted: Nov 16, 2005 7:07 PM       Post Subject:
icon_smile.gif icon_lol.gif

Use to play with this stuff, pouring in to block masonry walls, attics, had fun with it and used it on a regular basis. This was over 30 years ago and I am still here.
Also used transite pipe, transite board, asbestos siding, asbestos roofing, asbestos joint compounds, and the list goes on.
The statement that was made to not getting a daily exposure explains it all.

Unless you work in an asbestos mine daily for 30 years, chances are it is not as dangerous as people make it to be, and as years past, fewer people even know what the hell it looked like.

Marcel
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Douglas Plummer

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Posted: Nov 21, 2005 4:20 PM       Post Subject:
Hi Tyrone, The price seems way too high. With out seeing the dwelling I'd say around $ 3,000.00 - $5,000.00. Doug
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Caoimh?n P. Connell
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Posted: Nov 29, 2005 8:20 AM       Post Subject:

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Hello Tyrone:

Just to chime in from a slightly different perspective...

I have about four thousand hours of writing specs, supervising asbestos removal projects and collecting thousands of samples for asbestos over the years; the costs you quoted seem rather high, but I have never supervised an abatement project in Canada.

As some of your colleagues pointed out, not all vermiculite contains asbestos (which occurs as a secondary mineralization) and typically where I have been concerned with the asbestos content in vermiculite, I was mostly concerned with the more rare tremolite variety, as opposed to the more common chrysotile. The reason being that the amphiboles pose a more significant toxicological risk upon exposure than the serpentine varieties of asbestos.

"Pure" asbestos can be easily and responsibly managed in place; so vermiculate should be also, (provided the structure and insulation are in good shape) with only a little bit of input from the homeowner, usually in the form of education (i.e.: Don?t go up into the attic, don?t drill holes in the ceiling, placard the entrances, etc).

If the homeowner wants a real slap-um-up risk assessment, they can hire an Industrial Hygienist to perform an exposure assessment and risk assessment for well under $1,000 (if they were in my driving area, I could do such a ?study? for less than that). The analysis costs for such a study would be under $70. I?m sure that such an exposure assessment would demonstrate that the risk from the stose in the vermiculite was vanishingly small to the diligent homeowner. (The assessment may also, however, find asbestos in the home from other building materials posing a greater risk).

Just my thoughts. I think the rest of your colleagues are on the right track.

Cheers,
Caoimh?n P. Connell

www.forensic-applications.com

(The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

AMDG
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Roy Cooke

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Posted: Nov 29, 2005 10:01 AM       Post Subject:
A very interesting artical in todays NY TIMES on Asbestos and the Doctor involved .

BUSINESS | November 29, 2005
Reading X-Rays in Asbestos Suits Enriched Doctor
By JONATHAN D. GLATER
Defense lawyers fighting asbestos claims say a West Virginia doctor was a cog in a multibillion-dollar lawsuit machine.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/29/business/29asbestos.html?th&emc=th

Roy Cooke sr.
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Joseph Kormos

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Posted: Nov 29, 2005 11:03 AM       Post Subject:
I would say get a few more estimates

Joe
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James Feig

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Posted: Dec 17, 2005 11:54 PM       Post Subject:
Interestingly asbestos was at one time in talc, like baby powder (before we knew it was a hazzard) since the minerals come from the same vanes in the mines sometimes. I agree the hazzards are overblown. But it is a garunteed winning lawsuit from the attys perspective.

I dont beleive buyers should ever consider covering up or encapsulating asbestos. The reason being that they will find themselves paying for its removal when they sell the property. Thats always my advice to my clients when I find asbestos.
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Tyrone Wheeler

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Posted: Dec 18, 2005 8:04 PM       Post Subject:
The saga continues!
I just completed an inspection, and the attic was insulated with "vermiculite". I explained to the purchaser the details of vermiculite and the fact that it may contain asbestos.
As soon as the "A" word was used, the purchaser blocked out the remainder of my report and walked from the deal.
What I need is detail. I have researched every website I know of, I read papers, I even contacted the government, and all I get is vague desdriptions.
I need some ammunition to tackle this issue.
If someone can point me in the right direction, it would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
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Roy Cooke

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Posted: Dec 18, 2005 8:20 PM       Post Subject:
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Larry Ewens

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Posted: Dec 19, 2005 8:21 AM       Post Subject:
This whole thing is just the next UFFI scare. I personally know quite a few people who worked in the asbestos mines in Asbestos Quebec for their whole career and never got asbestosis. I personally think it is like any other cancer, if you are going to get it, you are going to get it. How many people do you know who smoked all their lives and never got lung cancer? My Dad smoked all his life and died of a brain tumor at the age of 42. Lead paint is another one that just boggles the mind. What sane person is going to let his or her child chew on the banister in the first place? In my mind it is just a way to make money for somebody. The prices they charge for abatement is just outrageous. Yes, I agree that the possibility exists for a health problem, but, if encapsulating the stuff eliminates the risk just cover it up and save thousands. I cannot begin to estimate the amount of asbestos I have removed and tossed in the trash bin on a jobsite over the years. It is so common on older homes that if we had to call in an environmental assessment and abatement crew every time we came across the stuff the cost of construction would be too much for the homeowner to absorb and the project would come to a halt. By all accounts it is the friable particle that is the problem, so if you eliminate the problem of the stuff becoming airborn what is the problem? Sure, wear protective clothing and a resperator and cover it up or dispose of it. It's the panic the media makes of it that is the problem not the material its self.
Larry
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Douglas Plummer

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Posted: Dec 19, 2005 9:55 AM       Post Subject:
Hi Tyrone. Try calling an Enviromental Co. One that does asbestos abatement. The Pinchin Group or O H Enviromental from Toronto would be a could start. They can be quite helpful. Also, Sporometrics lab in TO could be a great help. Cheers! Doug
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