I want to put new insulation in my attic. I think there might be asbestos in the old insulation that is there. What should I do?

If you think there might be asbestos in your home, do not try to remove it yourself. You need professional help from people trained to handle this product safely. Look up “Asbestos Abatement and Removal” on-line or in the phone book.

Asbestos is a fibrous, durable, and heat-resistant mineral that was widely used in building products until the early 1980s. It was also a contaminant in vermiculite insulation until the early 1990s.

As a result, asbestos-containing products may be in Canadian homes built or renovated between the 1930s and the early 1980s. These products included ceiling tiles, vinyl flooring, textured paints, exterior fireproof shingles and siding, and wrapping or taping on stoves, furnaces, heating ducts and pipes. Asbestos fibres are also found in vermiculite insulation manufactured until 1990.

Asbestos is a carcinogen linked to lung cancer and other diseases. No safe level of asbestos has been established.

For more information see our series of FAQs on asbestos for a more detailed perspective from CELA on this issue.

Last updated June 2012