About Asbestos

To learn more about asbestos, read the following faqs:

What is friable asbestos-containing material (ACM)?

ACM that can be rendered into crumbs or power with simple hand pressure is considered friable asbestos-containing material. This type of ACM represents a serious health risk because if it is disturbed, it can easily release asbestos fibres into the air.

Examples of friable asbestos-containing material include decorative texture on ceilings and walls, vinyl sheet flooring, sprayed fireproofing on structural steel or thermal insulation on pipes.

What is non-friable asbestos-containing material (ACM)?

Non-friable asbestos is not easily released into the air unless it is disturbed through sanding, cutting or other abrasive techniques. Non-friable asbestos-containing material is typically bound in a mastic and includes: vinyl asbestos floor tiles and asbestos cement products such as transite siding.

What are the health risks of asbestos exposure?

When asbestos fibres are inhaled into the lungs, the fibres can cause asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer. The outward symptoms of these cancers and lung disease take several years to develop.

How can I minimize the risk of asbestos exposure from vermiculite?

Do not remove or disturb the insulation. You do not want to cause any of the asbestos fibres to become airborne. Call a hazardous material removal company that is experienced with safe vermiculite removal. In the meantime, you may want to seal all ceiling cracks or holes from which the insulation might sift through.

When should I consider Emergency Asbestos Removal?

Emergency asbestos removal should be carried out when asbestos material is unexpectedly disturbed by an event such as a flood or fire.


To learn even more about asbestos, select from the following external resources:

Asbestos in Demolition and Renovation
Publisher: WorkSafeBC

Are You Exposing Your Family to Deadly Asbestos Fibres?
Publisher: WorkSafeBC

Publisher: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Typical Uses of Asbestos
Publisher: UBC Department of Health, Safety and Environment


Does the house you’re working on contain asbestos?
Publisher: WorkSafeBC