While people might think the asbestos scare of a few decades ago is over, AOL News recently reported that Insulation called Zonolite is in millions of homes and contains a toxic level of Asbestos which can cause Mesothelioma, a deadly cancer with no cure.
What is vermiculite?
Vermiculite is a natural mineral that expands when it is heated and has the unusual property of expanding into worm-like or accordion-like pieces. In its pure form, it is safe, but a major deposit in Montana, which at its peak was the source of up to 80 per cent of the world’s vermiculite, was found to be contaminated by asbestos.
Vermiculite was once touted as a miracle mineral: it’s fire-resistant and has strong insulation properties. It was incorporated into home insulation products branded Zonolite Attic Insulation in Canada and installed in hundreds of thousands of homes across the country. In fact, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the federal government even offered a grant to people who installed products including Zonolite in their homes.
But then workers began developing respiratory illnesses at the Montana mine that was the primary source of the world’s vermiculite; so did local townspeople. It turned out that some of the ore at the mine was contaminated by asbestos — which can cause serious health problems.
December 19, 2010