Vermiculite in the loft.

17 May 2022
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United Kingdom
Appreciate this has been discuss before, but looking to see if there is any updated advice.

I bought a 1970’s built 3 bed. Before moving in we had some skimming done and I went to install some LV down lights. When I went in to the loft, under the fibreglass there was Vermiculite.

I know loose full insulation is a concern from my carpentry apprentice days, so looked it up. To say I was gutted from what I read was an understatement.

So I decide I can’t do the down-lights until I get a test. I send away a self test and the result comes back negative, relief. I go ahead and install the down lights in 2 bedrooms.

Anyway, I have one bedroom left and the concern comes back in to my head. I read that the test method used in the UK isn’t accurate in detecting asbestos in Vermiculite and but the us are.

I then start to doubt the safety of the loft, which I want to use for storage, as well as add more insulation to.

I’ve spoken to a two loft insulation companies that seem perfectly happy to come and bag the stuff up and replace it. I’ve also spoke to 3 asbestos removal companies who have all said it is very rare to see Vermiculite in the UK with asbestos, and to trust the results.

My concern is that in the US they say, don’t even bother testing as the tests are unreliable and it should be treat as asbestos regardless.

Should I therefore have it removed by the insulation firm for £600 or the asbestos firm for £5,000 or just leave it there and add more insulation on top and use the loft for storage regardless?

I’m personally not overly bothered as I’m pretty sure I’ve breathed most things in when I did my carpentry, but I have two young kids in the house and am concerned for them.
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21 Sep 2011
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United Kingdom
In the US they are batshit crazy about lead, asbestos etc.
Look at the sites saying that about testing and penny to a pound they are either linked to an ambulance chaser lawyer or a removal trade body.
The problem with vermiculite is it comes from a similar rock formation so asbestos may be mined nearby.
The scare as I understand it was due to the factory in Canada making vermiculite products also made asbestos ones so some cross contamination was possible.
A bit like the warnings on almost all food products that nuts are processed in the same factory as the cake, cereal bar or whatever.

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