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As the title says, I'm looking to remove vermiculite from an attic that's been tested as having less than 1% asbestos.

The rest of the house has been tested and contains no asbestos. It's just in the attic. I understand that in most places, <1% would mean it's technically not an Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) and could be removed by a layperson. However, here in BC, vermiculite specifically is considered an ACM no matter what.

It being considered an ACM in BC but nowhere else isn't relevant per se, since it's legal for a layperson to remove most ACM in BC. However, I want to remove it so I'm not affecting resale value.

Can this be done yourself with adequate PPE and a 0.3 micron vacuum, since the concentration is so low? Or should I fork out for professional removal. Since I'll be saving ~$18,000 by doing it myself, I want to be damn sure there's a legitimate risk and not just a knee-jerk reaction to the word asbestos.

Thanks!

  • In the province of British Columbia, Canada WorkSafeBC classifies vermiculite with any asbestos as Asbestos Containing Material (ACM). "...(b) vermiculite insulation that would be determined to contain any asbestos if tested in accordance with the Research Method for Sampling and Analysis of Fibrous Amphibole in Vermiculite Attic Insulation (EPA/600/R-04/004, dated January 2004) published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency; ..." worksafebc.com/en/law-policy/occupational-health-safety/… – user58343 Aug 4 '16 at 23:35
  • I stated that exact thing in my post. I'm wondering about the safety risks. – Kieran E Aug 4 '16 at 23:41
  • I'd check with the lab to see what "<1%" actually means. It's possible that it means "undetectable", but they report it as "<1%" due to either government regulation or as a shield to litigation. – Comintern Aug 4 '16 at 23:53
  • Any time you mess with asbestos there is a risk. Professionals do removal all the time with respirators and protective clothing. My only question is how do you plan to remove it ? – Ed Beal Aug 5 '16 at 0:35
  • hit it with a 0.3 micron, 12HP vacuum after dampening it, then dispose of it in a landfill (which is legal in BC at this concentration of asbestos). – Kieran E Aug 5 '16 at 16:11
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Yes. You can remove it yourself.

You are over thinking this. Doing a one-time removal job is not going to hurt you. Wear a respirator and shower/wash clothes right after doing the job.

Asbestos exposure is only something you need to worry about if you're going to be doing it every day for a career.

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