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Exposing the Myths of Fiberglass

Discussion in 'Room Acoustics / Isolation / Treatment' started by Rod Gervais, Aug 9, 2004.

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  1. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member


    People have heard all kinds of stories about fiberglass and it's hazzards. It has been stated:


    There have been more than a few questions/statements regarding health issue relating to fiberglass in the past few weeks - and tis time to maybe put the "myths" to rest.

    It was reported in the late 80's early 90's about the possibility of fiberglass being a possible carcinogen - and many claims from various sources since then that it actually is.

    However the following comes directly from the American Lung Association:

    Here is the link if you wish to check it out yourself:


    In addition i would point out that the American Cancer Society does not even take the time to reference fiberglass.

    The advice given above - protecting both your body and lungs from this product - that makes sense - but the claim that the product is a known carcinogen is not recognized by any government agency of any country that i know.

    The only claims I know that support the cancer myth are made by fringe groups not recognized by any govt or medical agencies that i am aware of. Apparently without any hard scientific backup to support the claims.

    Be safe - be smart - but don't be afraid.........


  2. Rod,

    I know this was originally posted some time ago, but I hope you see this and reply. It appears that fiberglass, when handled with care, is safe to use, but is there any similar information regarding mineral wool? I know that it is made from slag and other materials as opposed to glass and wonder if there is any need for concern. Irritants are one thing, of course, but carcinogens, etc are quite another. Thanks,

  3. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member


    To the best of my knowledge (right now anyway) mineral wool is less of a concern than fiberglass ever was.

    BUT - I don't live by "to the best of my knowledge" - so give me a few days to properly research the issue and I will come back with a real answer.

  4. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member


    here's the "skinny":

    Mineral wools are not a health risk....... so take necessary precautions to avoid irritation and the like - but you don't have to worry about long term exposure issues........

    read it for yourself folks:


  5. Thanks for the info, Rod. I now feel much better about the 40+ rockwool and fiberglass panels I'm about to install in my control room. I truly appreciate the help and input from you and Ethan, as well as the others, on these great forums. You guys are the best.

  6. Fishybob

    Fishybob Guest

    Thanks for doing the leg work for hundreds of us mate! Nice job!!

    I was hoping that you may have come across any reference to Asthma... I've been Asthmatic since a young teenager and am dubious about such materials being in my work space.

    If you've seen anything that could stem my fears that would be great... if not I'll have to save up and buy foam!
  7. lovecow

    lovecow Active Member

    Rod, et al:

    I came across this link in a related thread in another forum. Thought it should be placed here for everyone to have a look-see. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it, Rod!


    Might be "more of the same," but I thought it relevant.
  8. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member

    Hey buddy,

    Nice article - and pretty much on-base in 1995 - but not relevant today.........

    It seems to me that it would be more honest of these people if they updated their site as time went on. Nope - instead they just continue to spread the same lies.

    Did you notice this at the bottom of the article?:

    I would point out that my data - provided by the American Lung Association is a wee bit more recent than anything referenced in that article.

    Note in the article you link to:

    In the one I link to - the same organization states:

    Amazing what another 14 years of reasearch can provide.

    My take on this is that there are still a lot of idiots out there like the people running the Consumer Law Page - that don't exercise anything even close to resembling responsible disemenation of information. If they did - that would not be there anymore - and they would not be helping to spread the "myth" - the lie - that fiberglass is a carcinogen when all the data todaysays that the original claims were incorrect.


  9. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member


    FWIW, I just sent this email to Rachel.Org, the organization that keeps the data Jeff linked to "alive".

    I consider it nothing short of disgusting that this organazation does not post the truth about this product - but would rather post outdated data that has since been proven to be false.

    ALL of the health organizations and OSHA changed their tunes once the studies were completed - but organizations like Rachael.org and others just continue to spread the lie - and they do it by not posting the latest data - so if they are confronted they can claim that their information was an accurate portrayal of the information in the studies.

    This is a lie by ommission....... and not quite "cricket" in my book.

    This is my email:

  10. You don't look that old in your picture!!
    Sean G likes this.
  11. eric_desart

    eric_desart Guest


    That's a powerful reply.

    For the people believing that lobbying can alter, misrepresent or suppress data.
    Well they are right.

    But, there is a big BUT here.
    For any m2 or sft of mineral wool that shouldn't be produced anymore caused by a possible cancerogeen character of this fiber, and alternative product should be produced.
    This means that the commercial powers supporting both sides of the argument are as strong.

    As such this fight is fought.
    The end result is clear. The related market came to rest again.

    Hence Rod's comment is very clear.
    That page is close to sick.
    That there were defenders of both sides of the argument is logical. If not those studies should never have taken place.

    What's important is the end result of the argument. Only publishing the argument of one side as representative for the topic, certainly in such a sensitive area is cheap, cheaper it can't be.

    I've personally been involved and worked in a (huge) market which should be extremely affected by the outcome of this argument.
    I've seen prototypes (and hold them including acoustic reports) of alternative insulation and absorption products, preparing to claim their market share.
    This is all history now. The prototypes and related R&D are stored in archives.

    The health of hundred thousands of employees is involved handling mineral wool on a daily full-time basis. This means that Labor Unions, and accompanying medical organizations are involved.
    The studio market is only a fraction FAR beyond the decimal point.

    That page that Jeff linked to is sick, wittingly ignoring all contradicting subsequent data.
    It's an example how science and honest information should NOT be.
  12. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member


    Paul - I meant to say in the late 1900's - goes to show you what lack of sleep coupled with some anger can do.......... :-?

  13. lovecow

    lovecow Active Member


    Perhaps I was not clear: I was just passing on what someone else had found. My own beliefs - based on the scientific research - are of the "non-carcinogen" ilk. I'm glad you responded to them the way you did. That's probably the best reason to have forums like this one. The Internet is chock full of misinformation. The more we are able to have intelligent discourse, the more we can make sure people aren't misled by the lies like these.

    Thanks³, Rod!!! :cool:
  14. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member


    Yes you were clear - my response was not really directed at you as much as the manner in which these sorts of things are presented by the sites that host them.

    The fact is that the vast majority of people will only read enough of it to get the "scoop" never dig deep enough to find out the truth - and THEN they spread the lies as if they were quoting scripture.

    It's pathetic.

    I would love to know where this thread is so I could join in the discussion.

    By the way my friend - thanks for bringing this to my attention........... :cool:


  15. z60611

    z60611 Active Member


    I didn't find a 'thread', but googling lists blogs, various compeditor companies (e.g. Icynene, betterinsulation), ol recording.org and some have both concepts such as:
  16. lovecow

    lovecow Active Member


    The thread in question was from Syn-Aud-Con's listserv. If you're a member, you should have seen the thread. If you're not, visit http://www.synaudcon.com to look into joining! :)
  17. the dreamer

    the dreamer Guest

    I just read a short article about mineralwool emitting Formaldehyd into the room when not sealed. It's in german so I suppose it makes no sense to post the link.

    They also talk about the risk of cancer which we know is bulls...!

    But what abou the Formaldehyd?
  18. jazzman_in_pa

    jazzman_in_pa Active Member

    Dreamer, you can post the link. Es wäre doch sinnvoll!

  19. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member


    The formaldehyde is used as a binding agent when manufacturing the product. It's generally 1% to 6% of the product by volume.

    From a general point of view it isn't a concern - which is why it's reccomended that one wear a dust respirator rather than a gas respirator.

    This directly from an MSD Sheet:

    As far as concerns regarding formaldehyde - apparently only upon heating conditions (around 390 degrees +)

    here's the link if you want to see it yourself:


    I hope that helps,

  20. the dreamer

    the dreamer Guest

    Rod, thank you!
    In the meantime I had a phonecall with a tech from Isover (big glasswoolmanufacturer). He generally told me the same except thet their products start to gas out at 150°C which is also no Problem.

    So I suppose that cheap furniture, artificial carpets and glues are more "outgasing".

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