Asbestos In Your Home

Don’t panic! Although breathing in high levels of airborne asbestos can lead to an increased risk of certain types of lung cancer, asbestos that is properly enclosed and in good condition—i.e., there is no risk of fibres being released into the air—is considered safe and should be left alone. However, if you are undertaking a renovation or construction project that will disturb materials suspected to contain asbestos, you are legally required to have the material checked by an accredited laboratory, prior to beginning work.

Asbestos is not easily visually identified, but can be found in many building materials dating to before the mid-1980s including:

  • Vermiculite attic insulation 
  • Vinyl flooring, Tiles (including floor and ceiling tiles)
  • Paper products around duct work and floor registers
  • Insulation around piping, furnaces and wood burning stoves
  • Soundproofing and decorative materials sprayed onto walls and ceilings
  • Patching and joint compounds
  • Textured paints
  • Roofing materials

Asbestos in Building Materials

Following the proper precautions, you can take your own samples and ship or bring them to Pinchin’s asbestos laboratory in Mississauga. It is extremely important to adhere to the sampling instructions  to avoid releasing asbestos fibres into the air.


For a fee, a qualified Pinchin Hazardous Materials Surveyor can come to your home and collect the samples for you to be analysed at our lab for asbestos testing.

Vermiculite Information

Vermiculite is a low density insulation which has the appearance of layers of mica separated by air gaps. Vermiculite is not asbestos (and vermiculite sold today does not contain asbestos) but some vermiculite deposits were contaminated with asbestos, as recently as the early 1990s. Vermiculite was widely sold to home builders and consumers across North America to insulate attics, walls or around chimney liners.


Pinchin’s Asbestos Laboratory

By choosing Pinchin for your Asbestos Analysis, you will also receive guidance and supporting materials to help you take corrective actions if needed.

When choosing an asbestos laboratory, homeowners should confirm the laboratory they select is accredited for asbestos analysis and has had experience with vermiculite analysis. The qualifications of the laboratory may be especially important when the home is offered for sale. 

Pinchin is one of the few Canadian laboratories accredited by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP Lab code 101270-0) and the relevant requirements of ISO 17025 for the identification of asbestos in bulk samples.

Accreditation to ISO standards provides assurance of accurate and legally defensible analysis for our clients, other consultants, building owners, engineers and laboratories. All analysis is completed on a confidential fee-for-service basis. 

If your asbestos and vermiculite samples come back with a positive result, Pinchin can provide assistance finding a qualified contractor to safely remove any asbestos-containing materials before you begin any renovation or construction work.

You can take the samples yourself or have one of our trained Hazardous Materials Surveyor collect the sample for a fee.
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