LCS Laboratory Inc., offers fast and affordable vermiculite testing to home buyers, sellers, home inspectors, and safety consultants. Vermiculite is a man-made product that is made by heating mica to 600 ºC. At this temperature, the mica crystals explode forming Vermiculite granules. To some extent, the process is similar to explosion of the corn kernel, which expands forming a popcorn granule.
Lightness and absolute inflammability made vermiculite a material of choice for home and attic insulation.
Unfortunately, some batches of vermiculite are naturally contaminated with asbestos. When we say naturally, we mean that mica and asbestos were produced by the same geological process at the same time. When we examine your samples we often see the hybrid crystals, one side of which are mica and the other – fibrous asbestos. Not all vermiculite samples contain asbestos. First of all, not all mica mines have contaminated ore. Secondly, sometimes asbestos is separated from mica during the vermiculite manufacturing process.
Our Laboratory receives samples from all over North America, but mostly from Ontario, Canada. Approximately 10-30% of all Vermiculite samples contain 0.50% of asbestos or more. Another 20-30% of samples contain trace amount of asbestos with concentration of 0.10-0.49%. On all other samples, asbestos was not detected.
There is no simple way to say if your sample contains asbestos or not. Only laboratory test can give a definitive answer. Before you collect your sample, please check how to do it right. We operate on published fee schedule, and offer the most competitive rates in Canada.
Call us to discuss your renovation or demolition project before you start. It is easy and affordable to test for asbestos. Stay safe!!!!!