The Grand Portage Reservation is at the northeastern tip of Minnesota. The Air Quality Program has many ongoing projects in order to maintain healthy indoor and outdoor air. These projects include monitoring for regional haze and particulate matter, indoor air quality, invasive plant removal, public outreach, environmental education, alternative energy, and climate change.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Asbestos in the Attic?

The EPA has published a fact sheet on the dangers of vermiculite insulation often found in older homes. Vermiculite is a naturally occurring mineral, and over 70% of the vermiculite sold in the US until 1990 came from a single mine in Libby, Montana. This mine also contained a significant asbestos deposit which contaminated the insulation coming from there.

If you have vermiculite insulation you should assume that it may be contaminated with asbestos.

If you find you have this type of insulation, do not disturb it! You could be exposing yourself and your family to cancer-causing asbestos particles. Disturbance can cause an airborne release of the microscopic asbestos fibers and should only be done by professionals with proper safety equipment. Be sure to visit the EPA website linked above for more advice on how to deal with asbestos and vermiculite. I also have copies of this fact sheet available at my office in the Trust Lands building at 27 Store road.

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