What Does Asbestos Insulation Look Like? Recognizing Hidden Risk

Image of wall insulation. Many forms of insulation contain asbestos, making it critical to answer the question: what does asbestos insulation look like? If you’ve been exposed and suffer from asbestos-related disease, contact the nationwide asbestos attorneys at Nemeroff Law Firm.

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring minerals that were widely used in construction in the United States from the 1940s to 1970s. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the fibrous substance has been found to cause mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.

Due to the extensive use of asbestos in building homes and other structures, combined with the health risks related to exposure to the fibers, it is important that homeowners and workers know how to identify potential asbestos-containing materials.

Identifying a Hazard: What Does Asbestos Insulation Look Like?

Asbestos is inexpensive and naturally fire-resistant. These qualities made it a popular material in various forms of insulation for many years, including but not limited to:

  • Attic and wall insulation
  • Caulking
  • HVAC duct insulation
  • Pipe wraps and insulators
  • Vermiculite insulation

What Does Asbestos Insulation Look Like in Walls and Attics?

Asbestos wall insulation can be found in various forms. Insulation board containing asbestos has been used in walls and ceilings, as well as soffits, fascia, and other parts of many homes and structures. This board is often found sandwiched between other building materials. It is very fibrous and is dangerous to remove because disruption causes the fibers to become airborne. This is how the material enters the lungs and creates a risk for those exposed.

Loose-fill is another form of wall and ceiling insulation that can contain asbestos. This fluffy insulation is usually blue-grey to white in color and has a high risk of inhalation because it is not compressed.

Vermiculite Insulation

Another loose-fill insulation with an asbestos exposure risk is vermiculite insulation. Vermiculite, like asbestos, is a naturally occurring mineral. Unlike asbestos, vermiculite is not known to be harmful; however, 70% of the vermiculite insulation sold from 1919 to 1990 came from a single mine that also contained asbestos.

Vermiculite insulation is often found in attics. Its stone-like pieces vary in size and range in color from gray-brown to silver-gold. If you encounter vermiculite insulation, the EPA recommends that you assume it contains asbestos and take appropriate precautions.

What Does Asbestos Insulation Look Like on or Around Pipes?

Asbestos pipe insulation also appears in various forms, from spray coatings to wraps. The wraps are typically corrugated paper-like covers that can be easily identified. However, many asbestos-containing pipe insulations may have been painted over or otherwise covered, making it difficult to distinguish the underlying materials.

Next Steps After Potential Asbestos Insulation Exposure

If you believe your home or workplace could contain any form of asbestos insulation, you should take steps to identify the substance and evaluate any possible risk without disturbing the material in question. Disrupting the area can result in the distribution of dangerous particles through the air, creating a potential health hazard.

If you have been exposed to asbestos insulation at home or at work and have developed mesothelioma, asbestosis, or other lung disease as a result of that exposure, the Nemeroff Law Firm can help. The attorneys in our nationwide practice have a combined 150 years of experience in mesothelioma cases, and we work hard to get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at 866-342-1929 for a free, confidential case evaluation or complete our online form now.

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