insulation - rock wool? any asbestos?

Can you help me identify some insulation for me? I was always told it was rock wool. I would like to pull it out, but I don't want to mess with asbestos.
Please check out this page, which has two pictures:
http://procyonlotor1.tripod.com/insulation /
Also please look at the pipe insulation picture - a plumber told me it was asbestos. Too bad for me! I had already pulled a load of it out of the crawl space and the attic. I never even thought about asbestos.
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Can you help me identify some insulation for me? I was always told it was rock wool. I would like to pull it out, but I don't want to mess with asbestos.
Please check out this page, which has two pictures:
http://procyonlotor1.tripod.com/insulation /
Also please look at the pipe insulation picture - a plumber told me it was asbestos. Too bad for me! I had already pulled a load of it out of the crawl space and the attic. I never even thought about asbestos.
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The pipe wrap certainly looks like asbestos.
The wool insulation does look like rock wool. In most instances where the asbestos is not dirty, it is a light gray material. Rock wool is usually much darker. One characteristic in fiber glass and rock wool, which is a form of fiberglass, is little clots of glass or mineral. They are shiny and brittle, can be clear, colored or black and are often long and pointed, they will stick into your skin, and if you are not careful they will break off in the skin. Asbestos fibers do not have these glassy clots or nodules, it is soft and fluffy.

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spoon2001 wrote:

The attic stuff looks like rock wool, has nothing to do with asbestos, so do with it as you like. If you are going to put in a vapor barier, then remove it and add it back if you want. You need the same kind of protection when handling rock wool that you use for fiberglass.
The stuff on the pipe looks like standard asbestos insulation once used on steam and hot water lines. Wear a mask, gloves, and coveralls when you work with it. In that form, you really don't have much to worry about as long as you wear a mask.
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

That's not true. Asbestos fibers are very small and can stay airborne for hours or a day, then it settles somewhere. You disturb it again, by walking on it, vacuuming, whatever, and it's airborne again.
R
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spoon2001 wrote:

It was also called "Vermiculite", See this article: http://www.radonpro.com/Vermiculite.htm
So: Maybe a hazard.
The pipe insulation is definitely asbestos. Requires special handling to dispose of.
Why not simply leave them both in place?
Add more insulation over the existing vermiculite. Give thought to providing a vapor barrier.
Jim
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That photo certainly does NOT look like vermiculite, it looks woolly and in tufts, while vermiculite is in granules with some dust.

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EXT wrote:

Good call. I stand corrected...

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Vermiculite is found in many potting soils - pellets/granules. It's baked mica. _Some_ sources of vermiculite contain small amounts of asbestos.
The pictures are NOT of vermiculite.
Rockwool is often very fiberglass batt-like, only denser and grey or greenish grey.
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spoon2001 wrote:

Recommend you upgrade your health and life insurance if you were sucking in that asbestos from the pipe. Also recommend testing the air in the house for asbestos so that others might enjoy a longer life span than yourself.
Sorry...
Pete C.
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Yup, the pipe definitely looks like asbestos. Bad news.
The insulation is harmless, rock wool.
Richard
Pete C. wrote:

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in a old house with multiple coats of oil base paint it acts as a vapor barrier
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Limited exposure in not necessarily a huge health hazard. In the future, Keep it sealed, away from living areas, and if you must remove it, spray it down with water. Contact is not a problem, breathing in the dust is. Take steps to prevent that, and not a 19 dust mask. Get a pro job.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

From what I've heard / read Asbestos particles that lodge in the lungs are not purged out by the body like most other irritants are. This means that even limited exposure can have long term effects.
There is plenty of material on how to safely handle Asbestos containing materials on state and federal EPA web sites that will be of help.
Pete C.
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see your insulation manufacturer at: http://www.owenscorning.com/index.asp
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buffalobill wrote:

what are the options? Would I have to stay with rock wool, or could I lay fiberglass over it?
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CJT Wrote:

Yep, the attic insulation looks like rockwool. After many years it compacts pretty badly and is better replaced with fiberglass. Try not to get the rockwool on sweaty skin. It will irritate worse than fiberglass.
I personally shy away from cellulose insulation. I know they say that it is fire-retardant treated, but it is just paper and chemicals. I can't live with that.
--
TomWTexas

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what is rock wool: http://www.answers.com/rock%20wool
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