I am in the process of removing an old coal furnace. after removing the natural gas conversion kit I now see some type of loose filler or insulation which was present around the conversion kit pipe. There is also a substance that looks like joint compound which was used to adhere the sheet metal plate to the furnace opening.
How likely is it that either of these substances contain asbestos? Is it possible to tell from a visual examination? The kit says 1979 on it, so I assume the conversion happened in the 80s. I'm pretty well past my prime, and I am the only person living in the house. How risky would it really be for me just to put on a dust mask and sweep this stuff out of there? Thanks in advance for any knowledge or advice that you are willing to share.