Identify old attic insulation

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Old 01-18-04, 05:57 PM
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Identify old attic insulation

I've begun removing the old insulation in part of my attic... I'm remodeling the room below and need to so I can remove the plaster & lath from the ceiling. It's loose-fill stuff, and I'd guess it was put in there in the 50's or earlier. That's a very uneducated guess... I only know that because of some clues... there's slate all over much of it from when the original slate roof was torn off, and I've found toys & things in the cracks of the floorboards (on top of the insulation) that I'd date from the 50's.

While surfing the internet today I came across a warning about insulation containing asbestos, and that scared me a bit, because I really don't know exactly what I'm removing. I'm hoping that somebody here can help me to identify what I have as a first step, and if I need to I'll have this stuff tested. Some details about the stuff:

It's a fiber (fiberglass?), loose fill. The fibers are very thin and short. It holds together in small clumps. It's yellowish-brownish in color. I have a small pile of it here in front of me, and if I look very, very close, I can see very tiny 'balls' in it--reminds me of cotton candy. It's also fairly lightweight.

From that information, can anybody take an educated shot at what this is? I'd guess some sort of fiberglass, but was that available back then? I can take a picture of it if necessary. Again, I'm not looking for a definite answer on what it is (unless you know)--rather your best guess, so I can do more homework if necessary.

Thanks in advance for any help!!

Brian
 
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Old 01-18-04, 07:10 PM
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It sounds to be rock wool, an insulation popular back then. Having asbestos identified requires testing by a lab. If you are concerned about asbestos, it may be best to leave it undisturbed.

Here is an article on asbestos for the homeowner. It is kind of long, but worthwhile.

http://yosemite.epa.gov/r5/r5ard.nsf...5660200520576/

Hope this helps.
 
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