Difference between cellulose and asbestos insulation

Difference between cellulose and asbestos insulation

Scientists approved that asbestos has a negative effect on human health until, as an insulator, it is widely used in insulators and wire resistant since it is recognized as a toxic cancer-causing material. At the end of the 1980s, asbestos was a very popular insulator or used as a fire retardant and is still used very commonly. It’s very affordable and versatile. It can be used in tiles and blown with vermiculite and other material. Furthermore, asbestos, including mining, and EPA is trying to suppress all production materials. Alternatively, in the market, cellulose is used as a substitute. Nowadays, cellulose is used as an introduced asbestos substitute in the market.


Since the 1950s, as a resistance and fire resistance, asbestos is used as major insulation and natural mineral. According to the 1980s, asbestos, for various purposes used as a toxic substance until, due to it shows its negative impact on human health, it was banned. By the look of Asbestos, the substance appears in fibrous material or similar to cotton. Moreover, for making an economical substitute, it has identical properties to cotton.

Although for several years worldwide, asbestos and its production have been banned, in older homes and buildings, it is present in one form to another. If In an old building you are life, chances of significant percentage are still around you. Asbestos is a natural mineral, but many peoples do not know about its fact.



Asbestos insulation is most commonly grey or white, and it can also be found in a variety of other colours, such as green, blue, brown, and black. The colour of the asbestos insulation will depend on the type of asbestos fibers used in its production.


Benefits of asbestos:


However asbestos is a toxic substance. There are various benefits these are better than other materials. few are here:

  • Thermic insulation: Asbestos trap heat in it because it’s an insulating material. for instance several hours with the help of asbestos, its temperature will retain in an isolated room. That property sole making for enough energy efficient house, as you don’t need all the time HVAC powerful system.
  • Nonvolatilazible: It’s a nonvolatile substance. And don’t burn it easily. On the other hand, from a single spark, it catches fire from several volatile insulating materials. so buildings connected to asbestos are catch less likely to fire or spread it to other rooms.
  • Bad quality: Builders’ biggest reason for choosing asbestos because of its lower costs. The costs of asbestos insulation are usually foam insulation or half of the cotton.
  • Weatherproof: Asbestos does not decay over time. It’s also a weatherproof material, over 50 years, its intact maintenance depending on the remaining insulation.
  • Low level of maintenance: Overall, as compared to others, asbestos requires minimum maintenance and cleaning .it doesn’t absorb dust, water, oil, and other contaminants that run easily off the walls.


Drawbacks of asbestos:

The main drawback is That human health is highly hazardous. The material excretes fumes and volatile organic compounds constantly it damages our eyes, lungs, skin, and the whole environment. Insulation releases furthermore many trails of microparticles in the air if you inhale or swallow them, it causes serious illness.

Secondly, just like plastic, it’s a non-biodegradable material. So if you release it from your house, then it will release harmful toxins into the whole environment. for several years, according to a study by EPA, asbestos remains intact in the environment. so using and manufacturing asbestos can lead to causing air and land pollution.


What is cellulose?

Cellulose is a compound that is produced by plants and trees. Cellulose is a bi-product of newspaper, cardboard, straws, and paper. It’s a toxic material for asbestos it’s an eco-friendly and human-friendly substitute. Nowadays, cellulose based-insulation is used in most construction or manufacturing companies as of its use it doesn’t hurt human health. Moreover, various chemicals can be improved by their cellulose properties.

For example, when it is treated with boric acid, thus cellulose develops fire resistance. Lastly, EPA approved the production and usage of cellulose by global authorities.



The most common colours for cellulose insulation are pink, blue, and green. However, it can also be found in black, brown, white, and grey. Cellulose insulation is often used in construction and renovation projects because of its high R-value.


Power of cellulose:

As a result, works in modern homes; it is one of the favourite construction and insulation material.

  • Eco-friendly: Cellulose is a biodegradable material derived from cardboard and waste papers. Moreover, on decays, it doesn’t produce fumes, fiber microparticles, and VOCs.
  • Low-budget cellulose: In the market, you can find cellulose as the cheapest insulating material. Moreover, cellulose cost manufacturing is considerably lower because it’s only for using paper shreds.
  • Noiseless: It completely offers soundproofing walls it’s the main advantage over asbestos. So if you have to make a plan for a cinema room in the house. Cellulose is a good way to do it.


Drawbacks of cellulose:

  • Not isolated: Cellulose’s major disadvantage is that it seld it’s not a water-resistant material. However, it combines with a protective coating. Thus a complete water seal is achieved.
  • Evaporative material: As you know. Cellulose cardboard, paper, and cellulose are volatile materials. When you insulate your homes with cellulose, a fire hazard is always produced. However, when it becomes non-volatile and doesn’t catch fire easily, it means it is combined with boric acid.


Differentiate between cellulose and asbestos

The most effective thing to do is to avoid touching it but seek the assistance of a professional who will take certain samples and obtain confirmation of whether it has asbestos. If asbestos is present, it is recommended to consider implementing an asbestos management system or eliminating it. Cellulose insulation does not come with any harmful properties and is even considered a green insulation option because it is made up of recycled paper and textiles. Asbestos and cellulose actually look very similar to the naked and untrained eye. You may see traces of coloured fibers or paper in loose-fill cellulose insulation. However, a sure determination if you have asbestos or cellulose can only be done using lab tests. Though a different insulator, it’s the same issue with vermiculite attic insulation. It isn’t easy to see if your vermiculite contains asbestos. You don’t want to risk exposure. If you come across installed insulation material, you should call a professional consultant to test it. It might be cellulose, but it could be insulation containing asbestos. Besides traditional insulation, asbestos could be in the following places: cement, plaster, specific brands of batt insulation, electrical panels, and wrap insulation, such as on pipes. Again, undamaged asbestos is generally not a cause for concern. It is a problem when the asbestos fibers transport through the air. Breathing in these fibers is a significant health risk.



What To Do With Suspicious Insulation?

If your Insulation is loose and conforms to the visual indications for vermiculite, The first thing you need to be aware of is the material from being disturbed. Asbestos fibers pose the greatest risk when they’re airborne and are inhaled. If Insulation is left unattended, it significantly reduces the chance of exposure.

What Color Is Cellulose Insulation?

The most common colours for cellulose insulation are pink, blue, and green. However, it can also be found in black, brown, white, and grey.

Does Old Cellulose Insulation Contain Asbestos?

Old cellulose insulation may contain asbestos. If you are unsure whether your insulation contains asbestos, it is best to have it tested by a professional. Asbestos is a hazardous material and should be handled with care.


The most obvious is that asbestos insulation will be brittle, meaning it can be crumbled or powdered with a light touch. Cellulose insulation will not crumble and should have no odor. If you’re still unsure which type of insulation your home has, contact a professional to come and take a look. One of the main reasons cellulose is now a popular and widely used insulation material is that it is environmentally friendly.

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