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    What is vermiculite?

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    Vermiculite is a type of mineral mined around the world and used in a variety of commercial and consumer products, specifically home insulation, because it is fire-resistant and has good insulation qualities. Some vermiculite contains amphibole asbestos fibers which, if inhaled for a prolonged period of time, can pose some serious health risks. Of particular concern is vermiculite ore produced by the Libby Mine in Montana from the 1920's to 1990, which was sold as Zonolite Attic Insulation and once supplied more than 80 percent of the world's vermiculite needs. Products made from vermiculite ore produced by the Libby Mine were not widely used after the mid-1980?s and have not been on the market in Canada since 1990. Not all vermiculite produced before 1990 contained amphibole asbestos fibres but given its widespread use it is safest to assume it does unless you have evidence to the contrary.

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