Danger in the Attic
Hank Investigates: Danger in the Attic
This is what the insulation looks like if its in your attic. The EPA now has some warnings.
If you have this kind of insulation you need to take precautions and the basic message is do not disturb. As we've reported, Zonolite Attic insulation was widely used by homeowners in the 60s and 70s and heavily marketed in New England, this homeowner poured dozens of bags into his attic.
"It seemed like a pretty good idea."
But turns out some of that insulation, made by W.R. Grace company of a mineral called vermiculite, also contained highly hazardous asbestos. Today, the EPA revealed it studied six houses in Vermont with such Insulation in their attics and bottom line -- it could be a health hazard.
"What we found in the simulations and when the vermiculite is disturbed asbestos can be released in the air."
Steve Johnson, EPA
The feds also published this brochure to answer homeowners’ questions, it includes health warnings and advice on removal.
"Removal not done correctly can create a larger concern than leaving it in place."
As we reported, dozens of homeowners are suing W.R. Grace, asking the company to pay for insulation removal, but Grace has filed for bankruptcy, putting those class actions on hold. In response to EPA's report, Grace issued a statement saying its insulation does not pose an undue risk to homeowners and their families.
This begins what the EPA calls a "public awareness campaign" about this product. For more information on Vermiculite attic insulation and the EPA's study visit: www.epa.gov/asbestos/verm.html
Related Report: The Air Up There