Sampling Instructions

General Information


Claimants may submit a sample of vermiculite attic insulation for testing to determine if it qualifies for reimbursement/compensation under the ZAI Claims program. A printable version of these instructions can be found here.
This procedure DOES NOT test for asbestos content.

There are two options for collecting a sample:

  1. You may hire a Certified Asbestos Professional (or licensed or certified Home Inspector) to collect the sample for you.

  2. You may collect the vermiculite sample yourself.    


Hiring a Certified Professional


The cost to have a certified professional collect the sample, as recommended by the EPA, may be included in your claim for reimbursement. This applies to the sampling of vermiculite only, and does not include the cost of sampling other suspected asbestos containing materials.

Note: Both the claimant and the contractor, if one is used, must sign the Chain of Custody documentation and declaration for truthfulness.  By submitting a claim for reimbursement you are authorizing the Trust to contact the abatement professional regarding your claim.

Taking the Sample Yourself


READ AND FOLLOW THESE SAMPLING PROCEDURES CAREFULLY, AND REVIEW THE IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER AT THE END. PLEASE CALL THE TRUST IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS.  CLAIMANT ASSUMES ALL RISK AND LIABILITY ASSOCIATED WITH SAMPLE COLLECTION.

General Precautions

  • Assess whether the floor in the attic will support a person's weight.  It is the claimant's responsibility to ensure that appropriate precautions are taken to ensure safety.  

  • The EPA advises that if you have to go into your attic, that you limit the number of trips and shorten the length of the trips because significant disturbance of Libby vermiculite can release fibers in the air. A careful collection of a few samples of vermiculite should not require much time or disturbances.

  • It is advisable to wear disposable gloves and asbestos respiratory protection when collecting the sample and dispose of the gloves when you are done, especially if you intend to make multiple visits to the attic or disturb the vermiculite more than would be required to collect a few samples.

  • Please note that if your vermiculite sample results are not consistent with the Zonolite Attic Insulation product, the Trust is willing to test up to two additional samples at no cost to you. IF YOU INTEND TO REMOVE THE VERMICULITE BEFORE YOUR SAMPLE RESULTS ARE RECEIVED OR ANALYZED BY THE TRUST, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER COLLECTING A TOTAL OF THREE SAMPLES BEFORE THE REMOVAL.

  • ONLY ONE SAMPLE at a time is to be submitted to the Trust. If you are collecting multiple samples, you must keep any additional samples for possible submission at a later date. Multiple identical samples received at the same time will not be tested and may be discarded.

  • Plan to take PHOTOS of the vermiculite in the attic at the same time the sample is being taken. If the test results show that the vermiculite is actually the Zonolite brand, Before and After photos will be required to process your claim.


Sampling Procedure


  1. Recommended Materials:
    a. Clean container for collecting the sample (e.g. Ziploc-style bag or small (~3oz) jar with screw top lid, see APPENDIX A below)
    b.  Additional Ziploc style bag to put the sealed container in for shipping
    c. Felt tip marker
    d. Disposable scoop
    e. Disposable gloves
    f. Asbestos respiratory protection
    g. Clean damp cloth(s)/rag(s)
    h. Wet mop
    i. Leak-proof heavy plastic bag for disposing of used materials
    j. Camera (or cellphone) to take pictures of the vermiculite in the attic

  2. Before entering the attic, use a felt-tip marker to label the Ziploc style bag(s) or top of the jar with the property address and date.

  3. Enter the attic, being careful not to disturb the vermiculite:
    • Carefully scoop the insulation into the container, taking small samples of the insulation from different areas of the attic, if possible. (If collecting multiple samples, each sample should have small scoops from different areas of the attic).
    • To ensure that the sample is representative, scoop to the full depth of the vermiculite rather than just scooping it from the top.
    • When finished, you should have about one (1) cup of vermiculite per jar or ziploc bag.
    • Avoid collecting non-vermiculite substances (e.g. wood or particles) if possible.

  4. Wipe the outside of the jar or sampling bag with a clean damp cloth, then place the jar/bag in a separate seal-able Ziploc style plastic bag.

  5. Before leaving the attic, take pictures of the vermiculite in the attic space, and save the photos for your records.

  6. After coming down from the attic, also wipe the separate seal-able Ziploc style plastic bag (containing the sampling container) with a clean damp cloth.

  7. Upon completion, clean the entire area near the attic access point thoroughly with wet mops, wet rags, sponges, or HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) vacuum cleaners to ensure that vermiculite is not tracked into your living space. A regular vacuum cleaner should never be used. Dispose of all cleaning materials, disposable equipment, and gloves in the sealed, leak-proof, heavy-duty plastic bag. 

  8.  

    SHIPPING PROCEDURE


    1. Go to the 'Forms' page on this website and print out a copy of the Chain of Custody Form. Complete and sign the form.

    2. If you haven't done so already, you must open a claim with the Trust, using ONE of the methods below:


                                1)   Click on the 'Online Claim Form' tab on this website and Register, then follow the instructions to open a claim.
                    OR
                                2)   Print a copy of the paper claim form from the 'Forms' page on the website, fill it out, SIGN IT, and send it in with your sample.
       
      ***COMPLETE AS MUCH OF THE INFORMATION ON THE CLAIM FORM AS YOU CAN AND SIGN THE FORM. ANY MISSING INFORMATION CAN BE ADDED AT A LATER DATE.***

    3. Prepare the sample for shipping by verifying the following:
                           -  The container is labeled with the property address and the date
                           -  The Chain of Custody Form is included in the shipment
                           - The Claim Form has either been submitted online or the paper form is included in the shipment with the Chain of Custody Form.
           
      ***BECAUSE ZONOLITE CONTAINS ONLY A VERY SMALL AMOUNT OF ASBESTOS, THE SAMPLE DOES NOT NEED TO BE SHIPPED AS A HAZARDOUS MATERIAL.***

    4.  
    5. Choose your shipping method (e.g. USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc.). Overnight or Priority shipping is not required. However, the Trust does not notify claimants when a sample is received, so you are welcome to use carrier provided tracking to verify receipt of your sample.
                                 
       The address is:

                                               ZAI Trust

                                               317 Wingo Way, Suite 303

                                               Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

    6.    
    7. Once the Trust has received your sample, it will be sent to a lab for testing. When the results are returned to the Trust, an email will be sent to claimants advising of their results.

    8. We are unable to accommodate requests to expedite the testing of samples.


    9. NOT ALL VERMICULITE IS THE ZONOLITE BRAND, AND YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNLESS YOUR VERMICULITE IS SHOWN TO BE THE ZONOLITE BRAND.



      SAMPLE ANALYSIS


      The Trust will have the samples analyzed using US EPA methods for Solid Waste (SW846). The analysis is designed to be a feasible, reliable and economical test to distinguish ZAI from non-ZAI and does not test for asbestos content. (See Disclaimer). If the analysis is unable to distinguish ZAI from non-ZAI, additional product identification information will be required.

      DISCLAIMER: THE ANALYSIS CONDUCTED BY THE TRUST DOES NOT DETERMINE WHETHER THE SAMPLE CONTAINS ASBESTOS. NO REPRESENTATIONS ARE BEING MADE AS TO THE ASBESTOS CONTENT IN YOUR SAMPLE. RATHER, THE TESTING PROTOCOL IS DESIGNED TO BE A SIMPLE, COST EFFECTIVE METHOD TO HELP YOU MEET THE EVIDENTIARY REQUIREMENTS OF THE TRUST.

      THE ZAI TRUST DISCLAIMS ANY LIABILITY OR RISK RESULTING FROM THE USE OF THE WORK PRACTICES AND RECOMMENDATIONS DISCUSSED IN THESE INSTRUCTIONS.  IT IS THE CLAIMANT'S RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE THAT THESE RECOMMENDATIONS COMPLY WITH ALL APPLICABLE FEDERAL AND LOCAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS.


      APPENDIX A


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