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ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS - INSPECT, TEST, REMEDY
AIR CLEANER PURIFIER TYPES
AIR FILTER EFFICIENCY
AIR FILTERS for HVAC SYSTEMS
AIR HANDLER / BLOWER UNITS
AIR LEAK DETECTION TOOLS
AIR LEAK SEALING PROCEDURE
AIR POLLUTANTS, COMMON INDOOR
AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES
AIR SEALING STRATEGIES
ALLERGEN TESTS for BUILDINGS
ALLERGY TESTS for PEOPLE
ANIMAL ALLERGENS / PET DANDER
ANIMAL or URINE ODOR SOURCE DETECTION
ASBESTOS-FREE INSULATION MATERIALS
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN BUILDINGS
ATTORNEYS and EXPERT WITNESSES
BIBLIOGAPHY ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, MOLD, IAQ
BLOWER DOORS & AIR INFILTRATION
BLOWER FAN OPERATION & TESTING
BOOKSTORE - ENVIRONMENTAL
CAR MOLD CONTAMINATION
CARPET DUST IDENTIFICATION
CARPET MOLD CONTAMINATION
CARPETING & INDOOR AIR QUALITY
CAT DANDER in BUILDINGS
CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
COMBUSTION GASES & PARTICLE HAZARDS
CONDENSATION or SWEATING PIPES, TANKS
CPSC Indoor Air Pollution Book Online Copy
DUCT SYSTEM & DUCT DEFECTS
EMF RF FIELD & FREQUENCY DEFINITIONS
EMERGENCY RESPONSE, IAQ, GAS, MOLD
EMF ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS & HUMAN EXPOSURE
FIBERBOARD INSULATION SHEATHING MOLD
FIBERGLASS DUCT, RIGID CONSTRUCTION
FIBERGLASS INSULATION IDENTIFICATION
FIREPLACES & WOODSTOVES CONTAMINANTS
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FLOODS in BUILDINGS, MOLD PREVENTION
FLOORING MATERIALS, Age, Types
FORMALDEHYDE GAS HAZARD REDUCTION
GAS DETECTION INSTRUMENTS
GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS, TOXIC
HOME HEATING SAFETY
HUMIDITY CONTROL & TARGETS INDOORS
HOUSE DUST ANALYSIS
HOUSE DUST COMPONENTS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY & HOUSE TIGHTNESS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
ASBESTOS INSULATION on PIPES
INSULATION AIR & HEAT LEAKS
INSULATION FACT SHEET- DOE
INSULATION IDENTIFICATION GUIDE
INSULATION INSPECTION & IMPROVEMENT
INSULATION MOLD TEST
INSULATION MOLD RESISTANCE of FOAM
INSULATION, UFFI UREA FORMALDEHYDE FOAM
LIGHT, GUIDE to FORENSIC USE
LEED Building Designation & IAQ
MILDEW REMOVAL & PREVENTION
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOLD ACTION GUIDE - WHAT TO DO ABOUT MOLD
MOLD APPEARANCE - WHAT MOLD LOOKS LIKE
MOLD APPEARANCE - STUFF THAT IS NOT MOLD
MOLD CLEANUP GUIDE- HOW TO GET RID OF MOLD
MOLD or INDOOR AIR EMERGENCY RESPONSE
MOLD EXPERT, WHEN TO HIRE
MOLD GROWTH on SURFACES, TABLE OF
MOLD GROWTH in/on BUILDING INSULATION
MOLD TESTING METHOD VALIDITY
MOLD TESTING SERVICES
MSDS Material Safety Data Sheets
MVOCs & MOLDY MUSTY ODORS
MYCOPHOBIA, STAINS MISTAKEN for MOLD
MYCOTOXIN EFFECTS of MOLD EXPOSURE
Museum Artifact Preservation
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
OIL TANKS INSPECT LEAK TEST ABANDON REGS
OZONE MOLD / ODOR TREATMENT WARNINGS
PARTICLE SIZES & IAQ
Particulates & Allergens Indoors
RADON HAZARD TESTS & MITIGATION
SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
SICK HOUSE IAQ QUESTIONNAIRE
SMELL PATCH TEST to Track Down Odors
SOUND CONTROL in BUILDINGS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
THERMAL TRACKING & HEAT LOSS
UFFI UREA FORMALDEHYDE FOAM INSULATION
URETHANE FOAM Deterioration, Outgassing
VAPOR BARRIERS & AIR SEALING at BAND JOISTS
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in BUILDINGS
VAPOR BARRIERS & HOUSEWRAP
VAPOR CONDENSATION & BUILDING SHEATHING
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
VINYL SIDING or WINDOW PLASTIC ODORS
VOCs VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
WATER TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WORLD TRADE CENTER 9-11 DUST PHOTOS
Building tests for fiberglass contamination: this document provides suggestions for easy, low-cost methods to screen a building for fiberglass hazards and fiberglass insulation contamination in residential or commercial buildings.
Here we provide some suggestions regarding screening for fiberglass dust exposure in buildings in order to detect unusual or high levels of fiberglass insulation or other fiberglass fragments indoors in air or dust. We discuss both large and ultra-fine fiberglass particles and fragments and how to screen and test for fiberglass indoors.
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Guide to Rapid, Low-Cost Procedures for Screening buildings for Fiberglass Dust, Particle, or Fragment Contamination
There are three basic approaches to screening a building or building area for airborne fiberglass exposure (1 - 3 below)
Our separate article on FIBERGLASS FRAGMENT HAZARDS in AIR or DUST 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.
Continue reading at FIBERGLASS HAZARDS or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: testing for fiberglass contamination or hanta virus contamionation after attic insulation cleanup?
I had fiberglass bat insulation removed from attic because of rodent droppings and urine. It was wetted with bleach and water, placed in plastic bags and put through attic vent to outside. This avoided bringing bags into living area. My concerns:
1. Do I need to test air quality for fiberglass or asbestos?
2. Did some fiberglass insulation have asbestos in the 70’s and 80’s?
3. Can air conditioning distribute from attic any fibers?
4. Should there be concern from possible aerosolized mouse droppings re hanta virus?
The only furniture in house is a bed. House had been vacant since tenant moved 2 years ago. It was built in 1979 and I have owned it since 1985. - H.X. 8/5/2013
With the caveat that no one can give a reliable environmental risk assessment from an enail query and often an onsite expert will find a concern that an ower or occupant hasn't noticed,
1. air testing alone would be unreliable - there is high minute to minute variation in airborne particle levels; and many forensic labs may fail to look for very small airborne fiberglass fragments. I would prefer, if deciding to test, to collect one or more representative settled dust samples to screen for high levels of fiberglass . But before testing at all I'd want to have a reason.
2. Fiberglass is and was a product separate and distinct from asbestos. Asbestos in general was not used for residential building insulation; some more solid asbestos board products were used in buildings for fireproofing.
3. Air conditioning or heating systems can move any sort of particle among building areas; the risk is of course greater if there are leaks into the return air ducts from a suspect area. If one thinks an HVAC system has been contaminated (say by operation when it should have been left shut down during buliding cleanup operations) one would visually inspect accessible air handler and duct interiors and check a dust or aggressive in-duct air sample. See DUST, HVAC CONTAMINATION STUDY.
4. My inexpert OPINION and also direct experience is that even in an area that is presently dry, if it was mouse infested, there can be airborne bacterial hazards as bacteria -contaminated dust can become airborne. The specific risk for hanta virus is harder to assess; while some sources argue that hanta virus is not uniformly distributed across North America (and I agree this seems the case), isolated cases can appear in non-Hanta-Virus-designated areas (according to a physician with whom I discussed this question a few years ago).
Before launching any costly indoor environemtal assessment you might best be served by a local expert consult to assess the risks involved. For example, if you thought that there was dust and debris movement into the living space during the attic cleanup the risk would be greater; if there were occupant IAQ or health complaints that seem to track the attic cleanup that would also be basis for an argument to investigate further.
Finally, before spending on costly testing, given that the house is virtualy empty, it seems to me an ideal time for a thorough indoor cleaning and if appropriate, disinfection using damp mopping, wiping, HEPA vacuuming, and a check/cleaning of the HVAC system.
Watch out: Don't let this worry about fiberglass dust or mouse borne diseases distract you from greater and more immediatel hazards such as unsafe stairs or hand railings, lack of smoke alarms, contaminated wellwater, unsafe heating or chimney equipment.
Questions & answers or comments about test procedures for screening buildings for abnormal levels of fiberglass dust or mold.
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Technical Reviewers & References
Fiberglass in buildings: hazards, testing, cleanup, prevention: references & products
For more information about fiberglass as an indoor air quality concern see: