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Old 12-19-2009, 09:18 AM   #1
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Is this asbestos? Please Help!


in the process of gutting our bathroom, we found this between the exterior wall of the bathroom...Is this asbestos?


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Old 12-19-2009, 09:30 AM   #2
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looks like it is cellulose insulation
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:36 AM   #3
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Yeah, there it would surprise me if someone thought asbestos was needed, as an insulation. How old is the wall/house?
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:51 AM   #4
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1950 maybe...and there were 2 layers of drywall...we took the one layer off, and this is under the 2nd layer...

So I should be ok to tear down this wall and remove this insulation, or are you pretty sure this is not asbestos?
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:05 AM   #5
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Do not trust an online opinion that we can only base on these pictures. Have it tested if you are concerned. I have never seen insulation that was asbestos that looked like this, but there were many things used for insulation throughout time.
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:09 AM   #6
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what does asbestos typically look like, and what was it used for?
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:21 AM   #7
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The word asbestos refers to a broad class of naturally occurring minerals, including chrysotile, amphibole, serpentine, actinolite, amosite, and numerous others. They have the common property that the minerals can be processed into fibers which have useful properties such as fire retardance, high insulation value, and longevity. Unfortunately, the fibers tend to be irritants to human tissue, and have been linked to lung disease and mesothelioma, a generally fatal type of cancer.

Asbestos was used in a wide range of products, including insulation, floor tiles, roofing materials, fire retardant clothing, and brake linings, to mention a few. Most experts believe that asbestos is not harmful until it becomes friable, meaning the asbestos fibers are released, which can occur through mechanical processes such as grinding or polishing, and can also occur if the asbestos was used in a loose form such as sprayed on insulation.

There is absolutely no way to tell if a specific product contains asbestos without chemical testing by a qualified laboratory. Anyone foolish enough to offer an opinion over the internet about whether a specific product contains asbestos should be ignored. The only way to know if a product contains asbestos is to have it tested by a qualified asbestos laboratory. Once you know if you have asbestos, you can make an informed decision about the next step, whether it be abatement, close in place, or ignore.
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:59 AM   #8
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I have never heard of asbestos being spun into some sort of wool-like material as fibreglass and rock-wool are, and then stuffed in to a wall cavity. Too expensive - and we mine the stuff up here!

Used to anyway...

PS: looks like balsam wool used in the 40's
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Last edited by ccarlisle; 12-19-2009 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 12-19-2009, 11:24 AM   #9
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think so? if i pull on it, it comes apart and falls apart pretty easily
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Old 12-19-2009, 12:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
There is absolutely no way to tell if a specific product contains asbestos without chemical testing by a qualified laboratory. Anyone foolish enough to offer an opinion over the internet about whether a specific product contains asbestos should be ignored. The only way to know if a product contains asbestos is to have it tested by a qualified asbestos laboratory. Once you know if you have asbestos, you can make an informed decision about the next step, whether it be abatement, close in place, or ignore.
No, no, Daniel;you shouldn't discourage opinions. You know as well as I do that opinions lead to debate and debate leads to hypotheses and hypotheses lead to theorems.

It's the person that accepts and acts upon an opinion (rather than a theorem) that is the fool - not the one who offered the opinion.
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:23 PM   #11
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when I take down the drywall on that wall, should I just leave that in the walls, and put a vapor barrier over it, or take it all out, and put some bat insulation in between the studs?
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:56 PM   #12
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From the pictures, it looks like blown in cellulose insulation, which is nothing more than ground up paper, treated against insects, mold and for fire retardancy. The only absolutely positive way to tell whether any product has asbestos in it is to test like Daniel said. Asbestos shows up in some wierd places. Once stripped 160 apartments that had asbestos in the drywall and the drywall compound, along with popcorn ceilings. About the only thing that tested negative was the floor tile and they were 9x9s........ go figure.
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