Asbestos in Zonolite Attic Insulation can Pose Serious Health Risks if Disturbed
September 4, 2008 (Last update 12/15/10) - The deadline has passed for filing property damage claims from Zonolite attic insulation (ZAI) against W.R. Grace. The court deadline of August 31, 2009 for the filing of Canadian claims has expired. In order to seek damages due to lowered property values, asbestos abatement fees, cost of removal, or economic loss caused by ZAI, property owner claims needed to be filed by the deadline.
What Does Zonolite Look Like?
Zonlite attic insulation is often found in attics and crawlspaces or may be found underneath other types of insulation such as rolled fiberglass insulation. When new, Zonlite has a brownish-silver, or golden color, and may have a glittery, granular appearance. As the Zonolite insulation ages, the slightly puffy, nugget-shaped granules may turn black or gray. (See Zonolite Attic Insulation Photos for more detail.)
In some instances, bags of attic insulation may have been left in the attic after installation. These bags may prove helpful in identifying the manufacturers. Another way to identify the manufacturer is if the current or previous homeowner saved the attic insulation purchase documents.
What Should You Do if You Find Zonolite in Your Attic?
Asbestos-contaminated vermiculite insulation poses a substantial health risk. If you suspect that you may have Zonolite insulation in your home, your first step is to have it tested to see if does indeed contain asbestos.
The EPA and ATSDR recommend:
- Vermiculite insulation be left undisturbed in your attic. Due to the uncertainties with existing testing techniques, it is best to assume that the material may contain asbestos.
- You should not store boxes or other items in your attic if retrieving the material will disturb the insulation.
- Children should not be allowed to play in an attic with open areas of vermiculite insulation.
- If you plan to remodel or conduct renovations that would disturb the vermiculite, hire professionals trained and certified to handle asbestos to safely remove the material.
- You should never attempt to remove the insulation yourself. Hire professionals trained and certified to safely remove the material.
For further information, please see " Best Practices for Vermiculite Attic Insulation" on the EPA's web site.
Did You File a Claim? Need More Information?
If you filed a claim for property damage caused by ZAI and would like more information, please contact the claims processing agent Rust Consulting:
Rust Consulting, Inc. Claims Processing Agent
W.R. Grace & Co. Bankruptcy
P.O. Box 1620
Faribault, MN, 55021
The form must have been received by the Claims Processing Agent no later than August 31, 2009. Although Brayton Purcell does not handle asbestos lawsuits arising from property damage caused by W.R. Grace's Zonolite, our asbestos attorneys represent personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits for asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma, caused by other types of exposure to asbestos. The deadline for filing a US claim for Zonolite damages expired October 31, 2008.
A Brief History of the Controversy Surrounding W.R. Grace's Zonolite Insulation
From 1963 to 1990, W.R. Grace mined vermiculite in Libby, Montana to make Zonolite, used in home insulation or construction materials. The following news articles document some of the history between W.R. Grace and the general public's demands to have Zonolite removed from their homes.