Vermiculite and Glass Wool attic insulation

Vermiculite and Glass Wool attic insulation

Question: Hello LCS Laboratory,
I am planning to get a contractor to do some work in the attic for me and I would like to be able to show him that it is safe to work there. Is there a government website that I can go to that would state what percentages are considered safe? I can’t seem to find anything. A lot of the sites say that there is no safe level. I was wondering if these sites are sponsored by the companies that remove vermiculite. Any help you can give me would be appreciated. Thank you. P.B.

Answer: Hello Mr. P.B.,
There are two similar but also conflicting concepts: legal limit and safe concentration.
Legal limit for asbestos in Ontario is defined in Ontario Asbestos Regulation 278/05 at 0.5%. If  a material contains 0.5% asbestos or more it is called Asbestos Containing Material (ACM). The same law defines how many samples need to be tested in order to prove that the material is not the ACM. If the material is not the ACM, then there is no additional asbestos related legal requirements for handling of this material. I believe this is what you need to show to the contractor.

From another side, it is hard to tell if the material is safe or not. It entirely depends on how you handle the material. The less dust you exposed to, the safer material is. It can be only established by observing your personal protection equipment and work habits.

To find answers on other asbestos related questions, please visit our FAQ page.