Vermiculite Insulation and the Dangers of Exposure to Asbestos

Starting way back in the 1920s and running all the way through until the early 1990s, there was an insulation product that was used in homes and businesses across North America called vermiculite insulation. This type of insulation was being used in most homes and commercial buildings because of its fire resistant properties and superior insulation properties. The downside though is that vermiculite has the propensity to release asbestos fibers if it is heated or agitated.

How do I find out if the vermiculite insulation in my house contains asbestos?

You can have a sample of the insulation collected by our team at got mold?™ for testing. You should not do this yourself as it is important to have someone who is experienced in conducting asbestos hazard assessments to ensure property health and safety practices are followed.

What happens if the insulation does contain asbestos?

It has to be removed. This type of abatement is a high risk asbestos abatement that requires OH&S notice of project, which is 14 days’ minimum notice to OH&S before project commences. A third party consultant is required to provide daily air monitoring, containment pre-inspection, final visual clearance sampling, final air clearance sampling and final report as required by law for High risk asbestos abatement.

3 stage containment with temporary shower including HEPA negative air filtration must be set up to prevent any cross contamination during abatement. All vermiculite and insulation is to be double bagged in yellow asbestos bags, the bags are to be washed and removed through shower/chambers. After all ACM vermiculite is removed the entire containment must undergo a thorough final cleaning HEPA vacuuming/wet wiping followed by visual inspection by consultant. After visual is cleared, entire containment will be sprayed down with fiber lock asbestos glue before final air clearance testing commences and containment is fully cleared for demobilizing.

Should I be worried about my health if I have vermiculite insulation in my house?

As stated in a WorkSafe Bulletin, “Asbestos in vermiculite insulation is only a health hazard if the vermiculite is disturbed and the asbestos becomes airborne. There is no real risk if the vermiculite is sealed behind walls or isolated in an attic. However, inhalation of asbestos fibres can cause mesothelioma (a fatal cancer of the lining of the lungs or other organs), lung cancer, or asbestosis (a permanent scarring of the lungs that restricts breathing).”

Other Vermiculite Insulation Resources

What’s all the talk about radon?

What’s all the talk about radon?

Recently we have been receiving inquiries about radon. It has also been showing up in the press and even Mike Holmes has commercials targeted towards the health concerns around it. So what is it?

Radon is a radioactive gas that is produced naturally by the breakdown of uranium in the ground. Since radon can’t be seen, smelled, or tasted, it can get into your home undetected. In outdoor air, radon is diluted and therefore not a concern. In confined spaces like your home or office, radon can build up to high levels and become a health risk. For example we now know recent scientific studies have conclusively linked the risk of developing lung cancer to levels of radon found in some houses. Radon can enter your home any place where the house touches the soil and there is an opening.

Possible entry points into your home include:

  • cracks in foundation walls and floor slabs
  • construction joints
  • gaps around service pipes
  • support posts
  • window casements
  • floor drains
  • sumps or cavities inside walls
  • dirt floors

The amount of radon in your home will depend on many factors:

  • the amount of uranium in the ground
  • the number of entry points into your home
  • how well your home is ventilated

Did you know? It is estimated that a non-smoker exposed to high levels of radon over a lifetime has a one in 20 chance of developing lung cancer. That estimate increases to one in three for a smoker exposed to high levels of radon over a lifetime.

Health Risks

Radon exposure increases your risk of developing lung cancer. Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer and although the risk is smaller, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer according to Health Canada. See Radon – Another Reason to Quit for more information on smoking and radon..Your risk of cancer depends on several factors:

  • the level of radon in your house
  • how long you are exposed
  • whether you smoke (exposure to radon and tobacco use together can significantly increase your risk of lung cancer)

If you have any questions or concerns we are just a phone call away! 1-888-909-6653

800th Blog – Our all time reader favourites.

800th Blog – Our all time reader favourites.

800th blog

got mold?™ takes pride in educating people with the information they need about mold and asbestos related diseases and issues happening around the world. When the company started we believed that knowledge is power and don’t intend to put fear into our readers but rather, give them the education they need to know before renovations, when buying a home and what to look for even if you aren’t a home owner and possibly a renter. This is why we have so much information available to our readers on our website so that they can read up on certain things and make educated decisions and choices before the proceed to do DIY projects at home and potentially cause a health concern.

So, for our 800th blog we would like to share with you our top 100 blogs and pages viewed online. Thank you so much for all your reading. And, hope we managed to help educate you or a family member or friend. Remember to share – you never know who you may help!

20 Interesting Facts About Mold! 13,397
Interview With a Toxic Mold Survivor: Gina Lopez 12,709
What Are The Most Common Types and Varieties of Mold? 11,491
What is Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome? 11,389
What Should I Do If I Have Mold In My Apartment? 10,809
Contact 7,382
If Santa brought you a Keurig please have caution. 7,147
A History of Mold Illness: The Kelsey Best Story 6,550
The Mummy’s Curse and Mold 6,441
Rashes Caused By Mold 6,351
Really, How Much Should Mold Remediation Cost? 5,469
Blog 5,420
Regulations & Guidelines: Indoor Air Quality & Mould 4,204
Thinking of Buying A Home, Look For These Moldy Clues 4,136
Top 3 Reasons To Have a Mold Inspection Before Buying a Home 4,026
Why Do Ice Dams Cause Mold? 3,901
Don’t Spray Mold! 3,721
Interview With a Toxic Mold Survivor: Raffaella Tassone 3,674
Asbestos Testing, Sampling, Removal & Abatement 3,292
Mold Will Eat Almost Anything But a Happy Meal! 3,100
Mold and Miscarriage, Is There a Link? 2,962
Core Services 2,816
10 Interesting Facts About Asbestos in the USA [Infographic] 2,562
Mold on the farms – Farmers Lungs and Grain bin mold removal 2,245
Does Mold Cause Multiple Sclerosis? 2,206
Top 5 Reasons Mold Is Scary! 2,190
Mold Inspection 2,173
New Does Not Mean Safe! Buyer Beware! 1,983
Air Sampling 1,925
Mold Do’s & Don’ts 1,914
Killing Mold Is Not The Answer 1,895
Does Mold Make Animals Sick? 1,884
Our 8 Step Process 1,864
Services 1,809
Sewer Backups Part 1: Causes and Prevention 1,717
Why Restoration Professionals Should Avoid Using Bleach 1,707
Who Knew this Vitamin Could Prevent Mold Allergies? 1,637
Compare Apples to Apples: 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Mold Remediation Professional! 1,594
About Us 1,542
Do People Really Get Sick From a Little Mold in Their House? 1,541
Interview With a Toxic Mold Survivor: Elaine Kelly 1,530
Why Should I have an Indoor Air Quality Test? 1,480
Testimonials / Reviews 1,448
Health Effects of Mold 1,436
How To Prevent Mold in Your Basement! 1,435
Water Damage + Neglect = Mold & Potential Health Issues 1,340
Do You Know Where Your Water Main Valve Is Located? 1,328
If Mold Can Eat Wood, What Will It Do To Your Lungs? 1,328
#7993 (loading title) 1,317
10 Interesting Historical Facts About Asbestos [Infographic] 1,289
How Many People Die From Asbestos Each Year? 1,270
Stemonitis Fusca- a weird but amazing species of slime mold 1,235
Erin Brockovich Fights Toxic Mold 1,207
Really, How Toxic is Mold? 1,187
Mold in a garage? 1,161
Why Should I Be Concerned About Newly Formed Water Stains? 1,126
Why Should I Have a Mold Inspection? 1,113
Toxic Mold Survivor Update: Gina Lopez 1,088
Interview With a Toxic Mold Survivor: Dr. Janis Bell 1,082
Seven Tips To Detecting Mold 1,070
Can Mold Cause Parkinson’s Disease? 1,058
Who Does The Work? 1,056
Does Mold Cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)? 1,016
Actress Brittany Murphy & Husband May Have Died Because Of Mold 1,014
Brittany Murphy’s Mom — The HOUSE Killed My Daughter 1,008
Mold and Illness (40 Articles) 981
Almost All Sinus Infections are Misdiagnosed and Mistreated 977
Canadian Asbestos Regulations 957
Questions & Answers 931
Is Your Christmas Tree a Source of Mold? 919
Career Opportunities 909
Interview With a Toxic Mold Survivor: Karen Dean 898
Why Choose Got Mold?…Compare Apples to Apples…10 Questions To Ask! 897
Interview With a Toxic Mold Survivor: Beatrice Latherings 889
What is the Connection Between Mold, PMS, and Depression? 850
Three Key Reasons You Should Consider Thermal Imaging 835
What Causes Mold in an Attic? 833
Why Do Ice Dams Cause Mold Problems? 806
What Causes a Basement to Smell Bad? 802
Rocker Ted Nugent’s Home Completely Destroyed By Mold! 785
Act Now! Our Government is here to help. Deadline to file a claim for flooding via PDAP is Dec. 31st 782
Subscribe To Our Blog Updates! 780
Cancer Tumors Caused by Mold? 762
Doctor Talks About How Mold Makes People Sick 759
Five Most Common Indoor Mold Varieties 758
The Three Types of Molds 758
Renovating? Be Mindful of Asbestos and Mold 732
MOLD INDOORS: Killing it is Not Enough 727
Ten Health Risks of Mold 713
How to Deal With Household Mold [INFOGRAPHIC] 704
Why is a Shower Essential to Asbestos Abatement? 698
Mold Causes Asthma! 692
Health 684
Did Mold Kill Stacy Bowman? 676
Mold Made The Voice Star, Katrina Parker, Sick! 663
What is the Link Between Mold and Cystic Fibrosis? 650
Ozone Generators and Interior Mold Remediation: A Recipe for Disaster 639
Blindsided By Mold: A True Story About A Bathroom Renovation Gone Bad 631
How Do I Prevent Mold In My Basement After a Flood? 622
Celebrities Affected By Asbestos and Mold (12 Articles) 618

Mold and newborns – bring your new bundle of joy home to a safe environment

Mold and newborns – bring your new bundle of joy home to a safe environment

As a parent, you want to make sure that your kids are always safe and healthy. That is always the first concern when it comes to raising your children. From the day they are born you sleep with one eye open, you start planning for the future and you always thrive for the best.

Even while pregnant you begin to focus on the environment that your child will be brought up in, if the home you are living in is safe for the future baby, if the baby will have have health issues passed on by genetics, and if your child will have any allergies that you need to be aware of in advance. All of these are a very common thing to think about when pregnant. Older homes are more susceptible to asbestos being present, water seepage from ice dams, basement flooding, all in which can cause mold growth if it is not taken care of in a timely matter and are concerns many pregnant woman think about.

There are minimal human studies looking at exposure to mold during pregnancy. Studies in animals have shown that the substances that mold produce can increase the risk of birth defects when consumed by mouth. Currently, however, there aren’t many proven risks to a pregnancy from exposure to airborne mold. It would be medically irresponsible to intentionally expose pregnant women to mold, then stand back and see what happens.  Studies have been done on the health hazards of mold to non-pregnant people and mold has been linked to allergies, asthma, sinus infection and rashes and once in a while, more severe reactions. Every person reacts different much like one person is allergic to peanuts and some have mild reactions to them.

If you are pregnant and you have found mold in your home, you should have it removed as soon as possible. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any illness that you think could be from mold exposure.

There are many studies done about exposure to mold to infants. This is also a major concern and a reason to get your home tested before the new little bundle of joy comes home from the hospital.

In December 1994 and January 1997, articles in MMWR described a cluster of 10* infants from Cleveland, Ohio, with acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage, also referred to as pulmonary hemosiderosis (1,2). The children resided in seven contiguous postal tracts and had had one or more hemorrhagic episodes, resulting in one death, during January 1993-December 1994. Preliminary results of a CDC case-control study (2) indicated that hemorrhage was associated with 1) major household water damage during the 6 months before illness and 2) increased levels of measurable household fungi, including the toxin-producing mold S. chartarum (syn. S. atra).

Mold illnesses, including pulmonary hemorrhage (bleeding in the lungs) and other serious respiratory disorders, can cause severe illness and even become life-threatening in some cases. Of course, most people exposed to household mold don’t develop life-threatening illnesses. Less serious health problems are fairly common, however, and more serious conditions can develop in some people. The elderly, the very young, and those with pre-existing respiratory disorders and immune system disorders are at greatest risk for serious problems.

What Is Pulmonary Hemorrhage?

Bleeding in the lungs is most common in infants, and in fact, it’s particularly common in premature infants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists bleeding in the lungs of infants as a potential complication of exposure to certain types of mold. It’s often accompanied by pulmonary edema, or swelling in the lungs, and can be fatal. It’s not a common complication of mold exposure, but it can and does happen. This is why getting your home tested is very important and can ease the pregnancy brain that the pregnant lady in your life may be having.

Lung Problems Caused by Mold

Respiratory disorders are the most common of all mold illnesses. That’s because tiny mold spores easily become airborne and then can be inhaled by anyone in the vicinity. Some of the lung problems caused by mold, other than pulmonary hemorrhage, include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Respiratory infections, including pneumonia and bronchitis
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (a lung disease similar to bacterial pneumonia)
  • Worsening of symptoms in people with asthma
  • Development of asthma-like symptoms in people not previously diagnosed with the condition

Other Mold Illnesses

Other health problems sometimes caused by exposure to household mold include:

  • Headaches, migraines
  • Chronic sinus infections
  • Allergic reactions
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose or stuffed up nose
  • Red, itchy, watery eyes
  • Skin rashes
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Depression

If you or a family member begins to experience symptoms of lung problems or other illness that might be related to mold, see your doctor. Let your doctor know if your symptoms might be related to mold exposure.

How Can You Protect Yourself from Mold-Related Illnesses?

The best way to protect yourself from mold-related illnesses, including pulmonary hemorrhage and other lung problems, is to avoid exposure to mold. You can help prevent the growth of mold in your home by preventing the conditions that encourage mold growth. Mold grows in damp places, so you can help prevent mold growth by repairing any leaks in your roof, fixing any leaky pipes, making sure rain doesn’t leak in around any windows, using an exhaust fan in the bathroom when you shower to cut down on moisture in the room, and using a dehumidifier in the basement if it’s damp down there.

If you’ve had a leak, or any kind of flooding in the home, you need to check carefully for mold and any mold you find needs to be thoroughly removed. If you have any symptoms of mold-related illnesses, you should hire a professional to inspect your home for mold.

If you find mold in your home, we recommend calling in a professional to clean it up. It’s especially important to have a professional handle the mold removal if you have any symptoms of mold-related illness or any type of respiratory disorder, because the mold removal process stirs up mold spores and your symptoms can get much worse.

Where is the water coming from?

Where is the water coming from?

Mold is caused when moisture affects the walls and other surfaces in your home or office. To permanently get rid of mould you have to first find and fix the moisture source.

Water can enter a building in all sorts of strange and mysterious ways, and may result in hidden moisture in walls and ceilings.  Moisture, whether you can see it or not, can result in mould growth and this mould growth can affect the health of the people living or working in the building. You could start taking apart your rooms one by one, or you could call got mold? Disaster Recovery Services for more information on how we can help.

Using our thermal imaging equipment and moisture meters we can map the moisture in your walls, find the missing insulation in your ceiling and track that leaky underfloor pipe – quickly, efficiently and, most importantly, without creating holes in your walls and ceilings.  

If you are concerned about hidden moisture in walls and ceilings in your home or office, or have areas of mould growth that you can’t explain it may be time to take action and get the answers you need to prevent mold growth before it happens! 

Today’s energy-efficient homes are built tightly to seal out the cold weather in winter and keep in the air conditioning in summer. Because of this, it is possible that a new home can be severely damaged by lack of ventilation or by excess moisture.

It is important to remember that moisture damage caused by improper or inadequate use of your ventilation system, is not covered by the new home warranty.

What causes moisture damage?

Your home can be damaged if weather-related water is allowed to enter and remain in the structure. Water from leaking pipes or fixtures that is not immediately cleaned up, and indoor humidity levels that are not properly controlled, can have serious consequences. Sometimes this damage is easily seen, at other times the damage is hidden inside wall and roof spaces. Regardless of where it occurs, moisture damage can lead to serious problems, such as rot, mould, and even structural failure.​

How can I control moisture?

Always use your home ventilation system to control moisture. In a typical home, over 20 litres of water are added to the indoor environment every day. That’s 7,300 litres in a year, enough to fill a medium-sized swimming pool. Bathroom fans, kitchen range hoods and packaged ventilators such as heat-recovery ventilators are specifically installed in your home to help you control moisture and contaminants. Regular use of your home ventilation system will exhaust excess airborne moisture caused by bathing, showering, doing laundry and cooking.​

What else can I do to control moisture?

Here are some extra tips you can follow to help prevent moisture damage to your home.

Outside the home

  • Keep flowerbeds or landscaping at least six inches or 150 mm away from the top of the foundation. Placing soil near or above the top of the foundation allows moisture to come into direct contact with the structure of the building.
  • Ensure that land adjacent to the foundation slopes away from the home so that rainwater and snow melt will run away from the foundation.
  • Clear eavestroughs of debris regularly and extend downspouts so that water is directed away from the building. Water flow can erode the ground near the foundation and create depressions where water collects. Standing water near the foundation can force its way into the basement.
  • Fix the caulking around windows and doors and on the roof if it becomes cracked or separated.
  • Have your roof inspected regularly to ensure shingles, flashing and chimney caps are in place and sealed properly

Inside the home

  • In the winter, keep the relative humidity in your home in the range of 30-45%. Lower humidity levels may affect your health and cause things made of wood to shrink. Excess humidity can cause condensation on windows and damage the surrounding wall. When using a humidifier, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • In the summer, dehumidify the basement to avoid condensation buildup on the cool foundation walls. Relative humidity levels should not exceed 60%.
  • Repair leaky pipes and fixtures immediately. Clean and completely dry any areas that are dampened or wet within 48 hours.
  • Store organic materials such as newspapers and clothes away from cool, damp areas. Keep storage areas tidy so that air circulates freely.
  • If you are adding a hot tub to your home, or have a large collection of plants, consider the amount of moisture they will add to your indoor air and ventilate accordingly.
  • Never vent your clothes dryer inside your home. If you have a gas- or propane-fired dryer you may also be venting carbon monoxide inside your home!
  • Investigate and identify any musty smells and odours. They are often an indicator that there is a hidden moisture problem.​

 

For more information check out these helpful articles!
For basement and crawlspace maintenance
For bathroom condensation tips 
For Carpets

For more information on preventing mold and hidden moisture please contact us today!