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Fiberglass hazards in buildings:
This article series provides information about how to identify fiberglass insulation in buildings and fiberglass hazards and fiberglass insulation contamination issues in residential and light-commercial buildings.
The fiberglass research literature is replete with studies indicating that there are no health hazards associated with airborne fiberglass particles, and with other studies reaching quite the opposite conclusion.
We recommend that readers examine carefully the methodology used in such studies, the expertise of the researchers, and the sources financing of such work.
We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.
How to Identify or Recognize Fiberglass Insulation in buildings
Here we discuss the following: What does fiberglass building insulation look like & what are the colors of different brands of fiberglass insulation?
Where else do we find fiberglass in buildings besides floor, wall and attic insulation?
What are the Problems with Identifying Fiberglass Hazards in buildings? Microscopic identification of fiberglass insulation fragments,
Health concerns of fiberglass exposure, Mold hazards in fiberglass insulation,
Based on literature review as well as both field and laboratory experience, it is reasonable to claim that large particles of fiberglass are far more likely to be a respiratory or skin irritant than a carcinogen or other more serious health hazard.
However some of our field and lab inspections detect very small, even sub-micron sized particles which are traced to building insulation.
These much smaller particles may indeed be a health hazard, and may be entirely omitted or simply missed by some laboratories charged with reporting on the level of fiberglass in building air or dust.
This article explains the recognition of types of fiberglass insulation in buildings, other fiberglass particle sources, and some possible health concerns that involve these materials.
What does fiberglass building insulation look like & what are the colors of different brands of fiberglass insulation?
Fiberglass building insulation is commonly installed in batts or chopped forms and may be yellow, pink, green, or white in color as is shown in these photographs.
While this material is not and should not be confused with asbestos nor with the well-studied health hazards associated with exposure to asbestos fibers or dust, our separate article on Airborne Fiberglass Building Insulation Hazards [link just below] and HVAC duct work insulation hazards contains additional discussion about possible air quality and health concerns which may be associated with exposure to fiberglass dust.
Where else do we find fiberglass in buildings besides floor, wall and attic insulation?
Fiberglass duct insulation material appears in several forms in heating and air conditioning systems in both ducts and air handlers themselves.
The most common uses of fiberglass insulating material in HVAC systems includes the cases listed below.
The annotated duct system photographs shown in the article cited below will permit any careful observer to identify the most common types of fiberglass HVAC duct materials.
We provide these (C)-protected photographs of fiberglass insulated ducts and HVAC components to aid in recognition of these materials.
Our detailed article on how to recognize fiberglass duct insulation and its characteristics and hazards can be read in its entirety
at FIBERGLASS HVAC DUCTS.
What are the Problems with Identifying Fiberglass Hazards in buildings?
Special challenges face consumers requesting lab services for identification of fiberglass fragments in air, dust, or material samples are easily identified in the forensic laboratory using light and polarized light microscopy and
common slide preparation techniques.
Our photograph (left) shows a typical fiberglass insulation fiber with droplets of resin binder attached. It's easy to identify large fiberglass fibers in transmitted-light microscopy.
But identification of very small fiberglass fragments in a building dust or air sample can be difficult to detect unless the microscopist is trained and looking for that material, and special methods such as use of phase contrast may be needed.
Binder Resins in Fiberglass Insulation Help Trace Source
Observing the color of a fiberglass bonding resin can help trace particular fiberglass in a building air or dust sample back to its source.
Other fiberglass products, such as this Certainteed un bonded blowing wool (fiberglass) lack a characteristic resin. Interestingly in this client-provided sample of nearly-new blown-in fiberglass insulation we found very few small fiber fragments. Dust tested from that home was also low in fiberglass fragments.
The common errors which result in failing to detect small fiberglass particles in building air and dust are discussed in detail
at LAB IDENTIFICATION OF FIBERGLASS
In that article we also discuss techniques which permit the forensic microscopy lab to identify the source or reservoir of particular fiberglass fragments in a building, sorting out among many possible fiber sources to pinpoint the particular problem such as damaged building insulation, damaged HVAC duct work, or other particle sources.
We also discuss how to distinguish among types of insulating and other fibers, comparing various types of fiberglass insulation, mineral wool insulation, asbestos insulation, and other fibers.
Frequent presence of fiberglass fragments in air and some dust samples, suggests that an HVAC duct system or exposed fiberglass
insulation in the building may be contributing unwanted and potentially unsafe levels of these fibers.
This discussion can be read in its entirety
at FIBERGLASS DETECTION in BUILDING AIR & DUST.
Reader Question: Continued Itching after Fiberglass Demolition
I have a question regarding fiberglass insulation. I pest control worker, who is trying to rid us of rats in the attic, removed the fiberglass insulation from the attic space but dragged the insulation through the house. Now, we are constantly itching. Is is due to fiberglass particles in the air?
What can we do? We've vacuumed a lot but it's not helping. Help!
Thank you for your time, M & M.
Reply: clean up, wash, laundry clothing, check with your doctor, consider dust testing
A competent onsite inspection by an expert usually finds additional clues that help accurately diagnose a problem such as incomplete cleaning,
or some other problem source yet unnoticed, including a biological hazard associated with the rodents themselves.
In addition to consulting your doctor who may in turn decide to refer you to a dermatologist, you might also benefit from reviewing the ITCHING & SCRATCHING RESEARCH found in
That said, here are some things to consider about itching after messing with fiberglass insulation:
Dragging fiberglass refuse through a building causes dust contamination
Dragging fiberglass through a building is likely to have left a fair amount of broken fiberglass fragments on floors and through air transport, as settled dust on surfaces
. If you haven't done so you may want to clean the rooms through which insulation was dragged using damp wiping and then HEPA vacuuming of all surfaces, especially floors, carpets and any nearby furniture, shelving, etc.
Continued skin irritation after handling fiberglass insulation
It can take two or in a few cases even three trips through the washing machine to remove enough fine insulation fragments from clothing that it would not any longer be irritating to your skin
In my experience, working with insulation, especially during demolition when lots of material is broken up and airborne, the skin itching can last for a day or two after the work has been completed.
Taking a couple of showers, washing fully, may remove the dust, debris, and fiber fragments, or nearly all of them, from your person, but the skin may have become irritated, taking a bit longer to recover.
Check with your doctor if skin irritation continues past 1-3 days.
If itching continues after you've cleaned yourself, clothing, and any dust left in the building (use a HEPA vacuum when vacuuming up fine dust), then I suggest checking with your doctor or a dermatologist.
Consider dust sampling if you are not sure the building cleaning was adequate
If you have reason to suspect that there remains irritating dust and an irritating dust source in the building, I'd consider collecting one or two tape samples of settled dust from a horizontal surface in an area where you spend the most time and in an area where you think the dust is worst.
Have those samples analyzed to identify the dominant particles - as that may be diagnostic. Cost per sample for such analysis, using microscopy, should be in the $50. ballpark per sample. You shouldn't need many samples, perhaps two or at most two plus a control.
A settled dust collection procedure for collecting a dust sample that should be just fine is found
at MOLD TEST KITS for DIY MOLD TESTS. Please do not send us your sample. I want to avoid even the appearance of any conflict of interest.
More about fiberglass exposure and itching and cleaning fiberglass-contaminated clothing are below in FAQs about fiberglass dust, particle, & mold hazards in buildings
Reader Question: Fiberglass (or Kevlar) fiber exposure dangers from boat building
2016/02/14 Char said:
When you say that there is always detectable amounts of fiberglass in air/dust, is it in noticeable amounts or microscopic or...? Should I be concerned about exposed insulation in my basement? And, when they're talking about special-purpose fiberglass being a carcinogen, what makes it "special purpose" and what products fall into that?
Would fiberglass from building boats/canoes be in that category? Thanks in advance, I'm having some fiberglass contamination issues and trying to learn what I can.
Reply: OSHA & Other Regulations & Guidance about Fiberglass, Synthetic & Mineral Fiber Exposure
Having examined many indoor dust and air samples, I intended to say that I will almost always find at least some fiberglass fragments in most buildings. However the number of such particles will not normally be significant - certainly it's not the dominant particle.
Fiberglass release from building boats/canoes would be more noticeable as the fiberglass is cut, handled or abraded such as by sanding. In such an environment it might be significant, depending on what work is being done and how dust control is being managed.
I'd be more concerned about very small fiberglass fragments in the 1u range that may be released by grinding or sanding.
So how concerned should I be... Building canoes we cut fiberglass matting and I wear a respirator, but I always get a significant amount on my clothing/jacket and it gets tracked into my vehicle and home. There is enough in my vehicle that I can easily see dozens of fibers, hundreds, when I shine a light.
My work has no dust collection system, only gloves, apron, and respirators. We also cut Kevlar, but I'm only really concerned with the fiberglass.
Reply: OSHA regulations & guidance on exposure to synthetic & mineral fibers
I cannot assess nor even guess at actual airborne particle level exposures from an e-text. Certainly there are OSHA regulations about dust control in the workplace.
ACGIH Recommended Airborne Exposure Limits to Fiberglass
The recommended airborne exposure limit is
1 fiber/cubic centimeter (for respirable fibers
greater than 5 micrometers in length) averaged
over an 8-hour workshift.
NIOSH Recommended Airborne Exposure Limits to Fiberglass
The recommended airborne exposure limit is
3 fibers/m3 (for fibers less than or equal to
3.5 micrometers in diameter and greater than
10 micrometers in length) and 5 mg/m3 (for total particulates) averaged over a 10-hour workshift.
OSHA Fiberglass PEL
The legal airborne permissible exposure limit
(PEL) is 5 mg/m3 (for the respirable fraction) and 15 mg/m3 (as total particulate) averaged over an 8-hour workshift.
Really? OPINION: Notice that there are no exposure standards for ultra-small fiberglass fragments, possibly because the exposure guideline writers focused on intact, un-damaged fiberglass substances in normal use and exposure.
Fiberglass Information: Quoting from OSHA,
Synthetic mineral fibers are fibrous inorganic substances made primarily from rock, clay, slag, or glass. These fibers are classified into three general groups: fiberglass (glass wool and glass filament), mineral wool (rock wool and slag wool), and refractory ceramic fibers (RCF).
There are more than 225,000 workers in the US exposed to synthetic mineral fibers in manufacturing and end-use applications.
How do I find out about employer responsibilities and workers' rights?
Workers have a right to a safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with safe and healthful workplaces. The OSHA law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the law (including the right to raise a health and safety concern or report an injury). For more information see www.whistleblowers.gov or Workers' rights under the OSH Act.
OSHA can help answer questions or concerns from employers and workers. To reach your regional or area OSHA office, go to the OSHA Offices by State webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).
Small businesses may contact OSHA's free On-site Consultation services funded by OSHA to help determine whether there are hazards at their worksites. To contact free consultation services, go to OSHA's On-site Consultation webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) and press number 4.
Workers may file a complaint to have OSHA inspect their workplace if they believe that their employer is not following OSHA standards or that there are serious hazards. Workers can file a complaint with OSHA by calling 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), online via eComplaint Form, or by printing the complaint form and mailing or faxing it to the local OSHA area office. Complaints that are signed by a worker are more likely to result in an inspection.
If you think your job is unsafe or if you have questions, contact OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). Your contact will be kept confidential. We can help. For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers' Rights, Employer Responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA's Workers' page.- retrieved 2016/02/16, original source: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/syntheticmineralfibers/
Fiberglass & Mineral or Synethtic Fiber Exposure Hazards, Standards & Regulations
Albrecht, Matthew A., Cameron W. Evans, and Colin L. Raston. "Green chemistry and the health implications of nanoparticles." Green chemistry 8, no. 5 (2006): 417-432.
Baier, R., A. Meyer, D. Glaves-Rapp, E. Axelson, R. Forsberg, M. Kozak, and P. Nickerson. "The body's response to inadvertent implants: Respirable particles in lung tissues." The Journal of Adhesion 74, no. 1-4 (2000): 103-124.
Instillation of respirable glass fibers to rat lungs served as an in vivo model for the detection and evaluation of differential local biological responses to particulate matter in the deep lung. Three compositions of vitreous glass, stonewool, and refractory fiber materials (MMVF 10, HT, and RCF1a) were harvested with surrounding lung tissues and examined both histologically and by physical/chemical assays to correlate the observed differential dissolution events with specific biological responses associated with each material.
Specimens at 2-days, 7-days, 30-days and 90-days post-instillation were compared from at least three rats for each condition and for phosphate-buffered-saline controls. HT fiber surface and bulk chemistry uniquely allowed direct histochemical visualization of fiber degradation steps by Prussian Blue staining, while multiple attenuated internal reflection infrared spectroscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray analysis of unfixed, fresh lung lobe slice surfaces revealed the concurrent biochemical changes.
Insulation glass (MMVF 10) dissolved most quickly in extracellular compartments, as well as after phagocytosis of small fragments; stonewool (HT) was externally thinned by surrounding phagocytes and fragmented into shorter lengths engulfable by macrophages; refractory ceramic (RCF1a) resisted both external dissolution and macrophage uptake, becoming embedded in granulomatous nodules.
It is clear from these results that the lung can process inadvertently respired particulates in different ways dependent on the specific compositions of the particles.
The animal model and analytical scheme reported here also show substantial promise for evaluating the effects of bioaerosols, and synergistic effects of respirable toxins with particulates, and consequences of dental aspirates into the lung.
Brandt-Rauf, P. W., L. F. Fallon, T. Tarantini, Cathy Idema, and L. Andrews. "Health hazards of fire fighters: exposure assessment." Occupational and Environmental Medicine 45, no. 9 (1988): 606-612.
Castillo, Jeffrey E. "Fiberglass-Information You Should Know." Professional Safety 37, no. 11 (1992): 29.
Davis, John MG. "A review of experimental evidence for the carcinogenicity of man-made vitreous fibers." Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health (1986): 12-17.
Gualtieri, A. F. "Mineral fibre-based building materials and their health hazards." In Toxicity of Building Materials, pp. 166-195. 2012.
Focused on asbestos hazards.
Hogan, Daniel J., and Megan Morrison. "Fiberglass, Dusts." In Kanerva's Occupational Dermatology, pp. 415-426. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2012.
Production of fiberglass is increasing.
Airborne dermatitis may be caused by fiberglass.
Irritant contact dermatitis is usually caused by fibers greater in diameter.
Hardening is not prominent and may be less likely development atopics
Histopathology of dermatitis is nonspecific unless the fiberglass is itself visualized in the skin biopsy or skin tape stripping.
Treatment is nonspecific except for taking measures to curtail exposure to fiberglass and where possible to identify sources of exposure.
Kim, Seong Chan, Matthew S. Harrington, and David YH Pui. "Experimental study of nanoparticles penetration through commercial filter media." In Nanotechnology and Occupational Health, pp. 117-125. Springer, Dordrecht, 2006.
Illinois DOH, FIBERGLASS - ENVIRONMENTAL FACT SHEET [PDF], Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Environmental Health
525 W. Jefferson St.
Springfield , IL 62761 USA, TEl: 217-782-5830 retrieved 2018/07/11, original source: http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/factsheets/fiberglass.htm
Excerpt: Little information is known about the health effects caused by small fibers.
Smaller fibers have the ability to reach the lower part of the lungs increasing the chance of adverse health effects.
People who work with fiberglass or who have worn-out duct work lined with fiberglass in their homes or workplace may have long-term exposure to fiberglass.
There is no evidence that fiberglass causes cancer in people. Animal studies have shown an increased risk of cancer when fiberglass fibers were implanted in the lung tissue of rats, but these studies are controversial because of how the fibers were implanted. Based on these animal studies, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified some fibers used in fiberglass as possible human carcinogens (cancer causing agents).
Infante, Peter F., Loretta D. Schuman, and James Huff. "Fibrous glass insulation and cancer: response and rebuttal." American journal of industrial medicine 30, no. 1 (1996): 113-120.
Lim, Hyun Sul, Yun Chul Hong, Jung Ran Kim, Hae Kwan Cheong, Ji Yong Kim, Nam Won Paik, Hoe Kyeong Cheong, and Chong Han Lem. "An epidemiologic study on the health hazards of inhabitants chronically exposed to glass fiber." Korean Journal of Epidemiology 17, no. 1 (1995): 76-93.
McCurdy, Stephen A. "Carcinogenicity of Synthetic Mineral Fibers." Western Journal of Medicine 148, no. 1 (1988): 75. retrieved 2018/07/11, original source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1026018/pdf/westjmed00137-0077b.pdf
Text: Carcinogenicity of Synthetic Mineral Fibers
SYNTHETIC MINERAL FIBERS such as fiberglass and mineral
wools have assumed significant industrial importance and
currently represent a $3 billion domestic industry. The durability,
strength, and insulating properties of these fibers allow
them to serve a wide variety of purposes, including insulation
and structural support.
Recognized health risks associated
with synthetic mineral fibers include respiratory and skin
irritation. They have been considered safe from the standpoint
of cancer risk, making their use attractive in applications
previously limited to asbestos fibers.
data suggest, however, that synthetic mineral fibers may be
associated with increased lung cancer risk.
Concern over possible carcinogenic effects was raised in
the early 1970s when it was shown that mesotheliomas could
be caused in animals by instilling vitreous fibers into the
Fibers that were long, thin, and durable showed
a carcinogenic potential equivalent to asbestos. Inhalation
studies in animals, however, which probably represent a more
appropriate model of human exposure, did not show these
fibers to be carcinogenic or significantly fibrogenic.
Epidemiologic studies in human populations have also
raised important questions regarding the health risks associated
with synthetic mineral fibers.
An increased prevalence of
minimal interstitial changes has been found in chest radiographs
of insulation plant workers exposed to these fibers. A
large cooperative European study of more than 20,000
workers employed in the industry since the late 1930s showed
an excess of lung cancers.
Subjects whose first exposure occurred
more than 20 years before the diagnosis of cancer and
who began work in the early technologic phase of the industry's
development were most strongly affected and had
about a twofold increased lung cancer mortality.
were reported among American workers in the industry.
In comparison, lung cancer deaths among asbestos workers
are increased fivefold in nonsmokers and 50-fold in smokers.
Insufficient data are available to address the role of smoking for patients with lung cancer associated with synthetic mineral
Malignant mesothelioma has not been
linked to such exposure.
Excess lung cancers in these studies appear concentrated
in groups that began working in the industry before protective
measures, such as dust suppression, were widely introduced,
which probably have significantly reduced exposure for contemporary
If the potential of these fibers to cause
lung cancer is dose-related, as is the case for asbestos, then it
is likely that less risk accrues to today's workers and that the
danger to homeowners with attic insulation of synthetic mineral
fiber is negligible.
Measures to minimize exposure
should be consistently and conscientiously applied, however,
to avoid the tragic health and economic consequences associated
with occupational exposures to asbestos.
STEPHEN A. McCURDY, MD, MPH
Enterline PE, Marsh GM: The health of workers in the MMMF industry-Biological
effects of man-made mineral fibers, In Guthe T (Ed): Proceedings of a
WHO/IARC Conference in Association With JEMRB and TIMA, Copenhagen,
1982, Vol 1. Copenhagen, World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe,
1984, pp 31 1-339
Simonato L, Fletcher AC, Cherrie J, et al: The man-made mineral fiber European
historical cohort study: Extension of the follow-up. Scand J Work Environ Health
1986; 12 (suppl):34-47
Weill H, Hughes J, Hammad YY, et al: Respiratory health of workers exposed to
MMMF-Biological effects of man-made mineral fibers, In Guthe T (Ed): Proceedings
of a WHO/IARC Conference in Association With JEMRB and TIMA, Copenhagen,
1982, Vol 1. Copenhagen, World Health Organization, Regional Office for
Europe, 1984, pp387-412
Robertson, Gray. "Source, Nature, and Symptomology of Indoor Air Pollutants." In Indoor Air Quality, pp. 393-402. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 1990.
Excerpt:... with fiberglass and
dermatitis-type reactions are not infrequent due to airborne fiberglass particles...
Rom, William N., and Arthur M. Langer. "Carcinogenicity of Fibrous Glass." Western Journal of Medicine 126, no. 5 (1977): 413.
Sertoli, A., S. Francalanci, and S. Giorgini. "Fiberglass dermatitis." In Handbook of Occupational Dermatology, pp. 122-134. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2000.
Stanton, Mearl F., Maxwell Layard, Andrew Tegeris, Eliza Miller, Margaret May, and Elizabeth Kent. "Carcinogenicity of fibrous glass: pleural response in the rat in relation to fiber dimension." Journal of the National Cancer Institute 58, no. 3 (1977): 587-603.
Abstract: Seventeen fibrous glasses of diverse type or dimensional distribution induced different incidences of malignant mesenchymal neoplasms when implanted in the pleurae of female Osborne-Mendel rats for periods of more than 1 year. Neoplastic response correlated well with the dimensional distribution of fibers.
Fibers less than or equal to 1.5 µ in diameter and greater than 8 µ in length yielded the highest probability of pleural sarcomas, and probability trends suggested that pleural sarcoma incidence increased with increasing lengths of fibers with diameters of less than 1.5 µ.
Morphologic observations indicated that fibers less than or equal to 8 µ in length were inactivated by phagocytosis. In fibers greater than 8 µ in length, the correlation of carcinogenicity with increasing length was difficult to explain. Since neoplastic response to a variety of types of durable fibers, particularly asbestos fibers, was similar, our experiments reinforce the idea that the carcinogenicity of fibers depends on dimension and durability rather than physicochemical properties and emphasize that all respirable fibers be viewed with caution.
Synthetic Mineral Fibers (OSHA web page). This page provides links to OSHA standards, health effects, exposure evaluation, possible solutions and other information - see http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/syntheticmineralfibers/ We excerpt from this page just above.
Takahashi, Toru, Mitsuru Munakata, Hiroyuki Takekawa, Yukihiko Homma, and Yoshikazu Kawakami. "Pulmonary fibrosis in a carpenter with long‐lasting exposure to fiberglass." American journal of industrial medicine 30, no. 5 (1996): 596-600.
1910 Subpart Z, Toxic and hazardous substances [related topic page]
1910.1000, Air contaminants
Table Z-3, [ https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9994 ] Mineral dusts.Contains permissible exposure limits (PELs) for "Inert or Nuisance Dust" (respirable fraction and total dust); these are currently the only PELs applicable to synthetic mineral fibers for General Industry.
"Fiberglass and the Hazard Communication Standard" [PDF] (1991) by OSHA - retrieved 2016/02/16 from www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=20459
This is an interpretation letter, not a standard, but it offers helpful explanations.
Hill, J. W., W. S. Whitehead, J. D. Cameron, and G. A. Hedgecock. "Glass fibres: absence of pulmonary hazard in production workers." Occupational and Environmental Medicine 30, no. 2 (1973): 174-179.
Koh, D., I. S. Foulds, and T. C. Aw. "Dermatological hazards in the electronics industry." Contact Dermatitis 22, no. 1 (1990): 1-7.
Mauderly, Joe L. "Relevance of particle-induced rat lung tumors for assessing lung carcinogenic hazard and human lung cancer risk." Environmental Health Perspectives 105, no. Suppl 5 (1997): 1337.
Rats and other rodents are exposed by inhalation to identify agents that might present hazards for lung cancer in humans exposed by inhalation. In some cases, the results are used in attempts to develop quantitative estimates of human lung cancer risk. This report reviews evidence for the usefulness of the rat for evaluation of lung cancer hazards from inhaled particles.
Milne, James. "Are glass fibres carcinogenic to man? A critical appraisal." British journal of industrial medicine 33, no. 1 (1976): 47.
Shipyard industry, see CFR 29 1915 https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owastand.display_standard_group?p_toc_level=1&p_part_number=1915
and also this document on air contaminants https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=10286
Note: this presentation does not specifically focus on fiberglass. Excerpts:
Particulate matter (PM) is a general term for very
small solid and liquid particles in the atmosphere
There are many different sources of PM, including
natural and anthropogenic (man-made) sources
PM is hazardous to human health – it causes acute
and chronic effects to the respiratory and
PM causes a variety of human health and economic
impacts each year (e.g., mortality, morbidity, DALYs,
lost income from work absences, costs of health care)
Wilson, James, Virginia Murray, and J. Nick Kettle. "The July 2005 London bombings: environmental monitoring, health risk assessment and lessons identified for major incident response." (2009): 642-643.
And see the article above where I explain that most likely the more serious hazards are with the smaller particles. An individual can also protect himself with respirator and proper clothing. At home I'd HEPA vacuum areas where you are concerned about high dust levels and I'd clean clothes by laundering.
Thank you for your reply. However, I am Canadian so those phone numbers and contact information doesn't apply to me. Is there something similar for Canadians? I'm assuming there would be
Canadian & Other Fiberglass Hazard Resources - Yacht-Makers Lung research
Sorry for the presumption. The US OSHA general advice about fiberglass hazards should be valid world-wide but of course none of the phone numbers make sense for you.
In Canada see http://www.canoshweb.org/ Canada's National Workplace Health & Safety Website
There you'll see a provincial map that gives contact information by province.
Canadians are less fearful of fiberglass than some Yanks. The Health Canada discussion of workplace IAQ mentions mold and general hazards and housekeeping
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety CCOHS: Indoor Air Quality - www.ccohs.ca/topics/hazards/workplace/iaq/
"Fiberglass and School Health", Not a Health Canada official site, but this other Canadian health source discusses fiberglass hazards in schools.
Here is a U.S. MIT MSDS on fiberglass
CCOHS FAQs on IAQ includes this comment on Canadian laws or guidelines for IAQ - not specific to fiberglass
Many Canadian jurisdictions do not have specific legislation that deals with indoor air quality issues. In the absence of such legislation, the "general duty clause" applies. This clause, common to all Canadian occupational health and safety legislation, states that an employer must provide a safe and healthy workplace. Thus, making sure the air is of good quality is the employer's duty.
Several organizations* have published recommended guidelines for indoor air quality. For example, Health Canada has prepared a number of publications on air quality. In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has compiled information on Indoor Air Quality.
In addition, IAQ is implied in most building codes as design and operation criteria. Building codes in Canada and the U.S. generally refer to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers* (ASHRAE) Standard 62.1-2010 - Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality (or previous versions), or other acceptable standards.
It is important to understand that most IAQ standards and guidelines are established to ensure the comfort of workers. So these values tend to be lower than regulatory values that are set to protect workers from possible health based hazards.
*We have mentioned these organizations as a means of providing a potentially useful referral. You should contact these organizations directly for more information. - "OSH Answers Fact Sheets, Indoor Air Quality - General, Are there laws or guidelines for IAQ [in Canada]?", retrieved 2016/02/16, original source: http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemicals/iaq_intro.html
Fiberglass hazards in boatbuilding
An industry where fiberglass hazards have long been discussed as "Yachtmaker's Lung Disease"
Brigham, Christopher R., and Philip J. Landrigan. "Safety and health in boatbuilding and repair." American journal of industrial medicine 8, no. 3 (1985): 169-182.
Deichmann, William B. "Potential Health Hazards of Materials Used in Boating." JAMA 213, no. 5 (1970): 759-764.
Kaufman, Joel D., Martin A. Cohen, Susan R. Sama, Joanne W. Shields, and John Kalat. "Occupational skin diseases in Washington State, 1989 through 1993: using workers' compensation data to identify cutaneous hazards." American journal of public health 88, no. 7 (1998): 1047-1051.
Ruttenberg, David, Evan Dryson, Chris Walls, and Nicky Curran. "Hazards associated with the boat building industry in New Zealand: an OSH audit." New Zealand medical journal 114, no. 1132 (2001): 225.
Sullivan, Brian J. "Styrene exposure in a fiberglass boat manufacturing operation." Applied occupational and environmental hygiene 18, no. 7 (2003): 496-498.
Volkman, Kristen K., James G. Merrick, and Michael C. Zacharisen. "Yacht-maker's lung: A case of hypersensitivity pneumonitis in yacht manufacturing." Wisconsin Medical Journal 105, no. 7 (2006): 47-50.
Wareham-Fowler, Stacey, and Ken Fowler. "Risk Perception, Safety Behaviour, Employment Precarity and Community Attachment: The Case of Newfoundland and Labrador Fibreglass Boatbuilding Workers." Policy and Practice in Health and Safety 8, no. 1 (2010): 43-60.
You'll see that styrene exposure hazards are also discussed.
For U.K. readers more about dust and fiberglass hazards and regulations are at POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs in this article - click to show the FAQs.
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Questions and answers about the hazards of exposure to fiberglass or fiberglass dust in and around buildings were posted originally at this page are now found at FIBERGLASS HAZARD FAQs
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Questions & answers or comments about fiberglass dust, particle, & mold hazards in buildings
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 "Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP)", Panolam Industries International Inc.
325 DeSoto Avenue
Morristown, TN 37816
(423) 587-1842, retrieved 10/21/2012, original source: http://www.panolam.com/frp/FRP/PDF/FRP_msds_9.28.09.pdf
 "Acculam™ Melaglas" trade name "NEMA Grades G5/G9", Accurate Plastics, Inc.
18 Morris Place
Yonkers, NY 10705-1929, Tel: 914-476-0700, Composition: Fiberglass & Melamine/formaldehyde Resin, retrieved 10/21/2012, original source: http://www.acculam.com/MSDS-Melaglas.pdf
 Fiberglass carcinogenicity: "Glass Wool Fibers Expert Panel Report, Part B - Recommendation for Listing Status for Glass Wool Fibers and Scientific Justification for the Recommendation", The Report on Carcinogens (RoC) expert panel for glass wool fibers exposures met at the Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel, Chapel Hill, North Carolina on June 9-10, 2009, to peer review the draft background document on glass wool fibers exposures and make a recommendation for listing status in the 12th Edition of the RoC. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is one of the National Institutes of Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The National Toxicology Program is headquartered on the NIEHS campus in Research Triangle Park, NC. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is one of the National Institutes of Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The National Toxicology Program is headquartered on the NIEHS campus in Research Triangle Park, NC.
Following a discussion of the body of knowledge, the expert panel reviewed the RoC listing criteria and made its recommendation. The expert panel recommended by a vote of 8 yes/0 no that glass wool fibers, with the exception of special fibers of concern (characterized physically below), should not be classified either as known to be a human carcinogen or reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen. The expert panel also recommended by a vote of 7 yes/0 no/1 abstention, based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in well-conducted animal inhalation studies, that special-purpose glass fibers with the physical characteristics as follows longer, thinner, less soluble fibers (for 1 example, > 15 μm length with a kdis of < 100 ng/cm2/h) are reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen for the listing status in the RoC. The major considerations discussed that led the panel to its recommendation include the observations of tumors in multiple species of animals (rats and hamsters). Both inhalation and intraperitoneal routes of exposure produced tumors, although inhalation was considered more relevant for humans.
 Fiberglass insulation mold: occurrence of mold contamination in fiberglass insulation can be impossible to see with the naked eye, but can be significant
 orld Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer - IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans - VOL 81 Man-Made Vitreous Fibers, 2002, IARCPress, Lyon France, pi-ii-cover-isbn.qxd 06/12/02 14:15 Page i - World Health Organization, 1/21/1998. - Fiberglass insulation is an example of what IARC refers to as man made vitreous fiber - inorganic fibers made primarily from glass, rock, minerals, slag, and processed inorganic oxides. This article provides enormous detail about fiberglass and other vitreous fibers, and includes fiberglass exposure data.
 ttp://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol81/mono81.pdf - the article (large PDF over 6MB)
http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol81/mono81-6A.pdf - article details
http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol81/mono81-6C.pdf - studies of cancer in experimental animals in re vitreous fibers such as fiberglass;
http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol81/mono81-6E.pdf - summary of data reported & evaluation
http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol81/mono81-6F.pdf for the article references
To search the IARC monographs on various environmental concerns and carcinogens, use http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/PDFs/index.php
 Source www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Energy-saving-assumptions [this link will open in a new window] , (03/13). Actual savings depend on individual circumstances. Contact: 020 7654-2455, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd., 120 Carlton Street Suite 407, Toronto ON M5A 4K2. Tel: (416) 964-9415 1-800-268-7070 Email: email@example.com. The firm provides professional home inspection services & home inspection education & publications. Alan Carson is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material.
The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Illustrated Home purchased as a single order Enter INSPECTAILL in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
TECHNICAL REFERENCE GUIDE to manufacturer's model and serial number information for heating and cooling equipment, useful for determining the age of heating boilers, furnaces, water heaters is provided by Carson Dunlop, Associates, Toronto - Carson Dunlop Weldon & Associates Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Technical Reference Guide purchased as a single order. Just enter INSPECTATRG in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on these courses: Enter INSPECTAHITP in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
The Horizon Software System manages business operations,scheduling, & inspection report writing using Carson Dunlop's knowledge base & color images. The Horizon system runs on always-available cloud-based software for office computers, laptops, tablets, iPad, Android, & other smartphones