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Exposing the Myths of Fiberglass

Folks,

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

I mean that cutting fibreglass can be a bit of a health hazard because the fibers, which are a known carcinogen, are released into the air and can be inhaled. Studies have shown that glass fibers from a stationary piece of rigid fiberboard will not be released into the air in significant numbers, especially when the board is covered in fabric, but you should definitely wear gloves and some type of facemask when cutting 705. I'm pretty sure that a paper mask will be enough, but you should definitely double check me on this before you start.

OK,

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:
 

Direct contact with fiberglass materials or exposure to airborne fiberglass dust may irritate the skin, eyes, nose and throat. Fiberglass can cause itching due to mechanical irritation from the fibers. This is not an allergic reaction to the material. Breathing fibers may irritate the airways resulting in coughing and a scratchy throat. Some people are sensitive to the fibers, while others are not. Fiberglass insulation packages display cancer warning labels. These labels are required by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) based on determinations made by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP).

1994- NTP listed fiberglass as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" based on animal data.

1998- The American Conference of Govern- mental Industrial Hygienists reviewed the available literature and concluded glass wool to be "carcinogenic in experimental animals at a relatively high dose, by route(s) of administra- tion, at site(s), of histologic type(s) or by mechanism(s) that are not considered relevant to worker exposures".

1999- OSHA and the manufacturers volunta- rily agreed on ways to control workplace exposures to avoid irritation. As a result, OSHA has stated that it does not intend to regulate exposure to fiberglass insulation. The voluntary agreement, known as the Health & Safety Partnership Program includes a recom- mended exposure level of 1.0 fiber per cubic centimeter (f/cc) based on an 8-hour workday and provides comprehensive work practices.

2000- The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) reported that epidemiological studies of glass fiber manufacturing workers indicate "glass fibers do not appear to increase the risk of respiratory system cancer". The NAS supported the exposure limit of 1.0 f/cc that has been the industry recommendation since the early 1990s.

2001- The IARC working group revised their previous classification of glass wool being a possible carcinogen. It is currently considered not classifiable as a human carcinogen. Studies done in the past 15 years since the previous report was released, do not provide enough evidence to link this material to any cancer risk.

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

Man-made Vitreous Fibres

IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans Volume 81

Monographs

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.

Sincerely,

Rod

Comments

anonymous Wed, 01/12/2005 - 10:41
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,

Rick

anonymous Wed, 06/22/2005 - 03:55
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!

Rod Gervais Sat, 07/16/2005 - 17:31
lovecow wrote: 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!

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?:

[1] This article was researched and authored by Rachel's Environment and Health Weekly, June 1, 1995 edition and published by the Environmental Research Foundation which provided the research and substance of this 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:

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), of the World Health Organization, listed fiber glass as a "probable [human] carcinogen" in 1987

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

2001- The IARC working group revised their previous classification of glass wool being a possible carcinogen. It is currently considered not classifiable as a human carcinogen. Studies done in the past 15 years since the previous report was released, do not provide enough evidence to link this material to any cancer risk.

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.

Sincerely,

Rod

Rod Gervais Sat, 07/16/2005 - 18:21
Folks,

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:

To whom it may concern,

You (as an organization) should be ashamed of yourselves. I have searched your site - and although I find information relating to fiberglass - it is not up to date - nor is the information accurate.

If you were truly an organization concerned about "environmental justice", you would go out of your way to see to it that once new scientific data proved that earlier research you referred to was incorrect that the new data was posted to keep the people you claim to be concerned with informed.

At the very least you could remove the link to stop the spread of misinformation.

You have this posted in your home page:

Providing understandable scientific information about human health and the environment.

However - what you provide is misinformation - not information. I shall be more than happy to help expose you for what you are really are. Your organization's name will become quite well known in my posts, and my posts reach tens of thousands of people worldwide.

By the way - I am not affiliated with manufacturers of fiberglass products, I own no stock in those companies - and have no vested interest other than the truth in taking the position I am in this regard.

In fact - in the early 1900's I was instrumental in stopping the use of unlined fiberglass ductboard in any of my projects (as well as any projects which I consulted on) due to the potential threat to human life. I take the health of my clients very seriously.

However I also took it upon myself to continue to follow the reasearch and studies being done over the years so as to be able to keep my clients truly informed and thus able to make intelligent informed descisions, descisions based on reality, not descisions based on unfounded fears.

I don't expect you to respond to this - nor do I expect you to remove the data - I think you prefer to continue to help keep the myth about fiberglass alive.

But I assure you that I will now begin including the fact that your organization cannot be trusted as a source for anyone searching for the truth in this (or any other) matter.

Sincerely,

Rod Gervais

anonymous Sat, 07/16/2005 - 20:36
Rod Gervais wrote: ....
In fact - in the early 1900's I was instrumental in stopping the use of unlined fiberglass ductboard in any of my projects (as well as any projects which I consulted on) due to the potential threat to human life. I take the health of my clients very seriously.
..

You don't look that old in your picture!!

anonymous Sun, 07/17/2005 - 07:09
Rod,

That's a powerful reply.
Thanks.

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.

Rod Gervais Sun, 07/17/2005 - 07:30
Paul Woodlock wrote: [quote=Rod Gervais]....
In fact - in the early 1900's I was instrumental in stopping the use of unlined fiberglass ductboard in any of my projects (as well as any projects which I consulted on) due to the potential threat to human life. I take the health of my clients very seriously.
..

You don't look that old in your picture!!
LMAO,

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

Rod

lovecow Mon, 07/18/2005 - 07:06
Rod,

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!!! 8-)

Rod Gervais Mon, 07/18/2005 - 16:28
lovecow wrote: Rod,

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.

Jeff,

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........... 8-)

Sincerely,

Rod

z60611 Mon, 07/18/2005 - 18:15

Rod
 

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


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:

 

from http://blyssabyss.o…
+ Health Risks http://www.safetyli… Excerpt: DOES FIBREGLASS CAUSE CANCER? The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) changed its classification in November 2001: · Fibreglass is now not classifiable as carcinogenic to humans and is no longer considered “possibly carcinogenic The reasons for the change are: · Studies of occupational exposure during manufacture of fiberglass show no evidence of increased risk of cancer; and · There is an increased use of “biosoluble” fiberglass, which has been tested and found to be non-carcinogenic.
http://abrannen.hom…

This appears to be a bit old, and is on a legal site, but seems to have useful history and info: http://consumerlawp…

 

Rod Gervais Wed, 07/27/2005 - 12:04

the dreamer wrote: 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?

Dreamer,

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:

Material Safety Data Sheet
Material Name: Mineral Wool Insulation
Page 1 of 7 Issue Date: April 18, 2005 Replaces Issue: January 21, 2004
1. Identification:
1.1 Product Generic Name: Mineral Wool Insulation
1.2 Product Use: Commercial, Industrial and Residential Insulation
1.3 Products:
CavityRockÔ, ConRockÔ, CurtainRockÔ, DrainBoardÔ, EnerWrapÔ, FlexibattÒ, Noise Stop, RHFÔ, RHMÔ,
RHTÔ, ROXUL AFBÔ, ROXULPlusÒ, ROXULÒ 1200, RXLÔ, RWÔ, SAFE, Safe’n’SoundÔ, TechtonÔ 1200,
TechtonÔ 1200 Marine, TopRockÔ P, TopRockÔ F, SturdiRockÔ
1.4 Company Address: Roxul Inc.
551 Harrop Drive
Milton, Ontario
Canada

8.3 Personal Protective Equipment::
8.3.1 Respiratory:
8.3.1.1 General:
If dust levels exceed applicable exposure limits, wear a NIOSH certified dust respirator with an efficiency rating of N95 or higher. Use disposable face masks complying with NIOSH respirator standards, such as a 3M Model 8210 (or 8710) (3M Model 9900 in high humidity environments) or equivalent. For exposures up to five times the established exposure limits use a quarter-mask respirator, rated N95 or higher; and for exposures up to ten times the established exposure limits use a half-mask respirator (e.g. MSA’s DM-11, Racal’s Delta N95, 3M’s 8210), rated N95 or higher. For exposures up to 50 times the established exposure limits use a full-face respirator, rated N99 or higher.

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

 

 

10. Stability and Reactivity:
10.1 Stability: Stable
10.2 Reactivity: Not reactive
10.3 Thermal decomposition products:
Primary combustion products of the cured urea extended phenolic formaldehyde binder, when heated above 390 °F (200 °C), are carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ammonia, water and trace amounts of formaldehyde.

Other undetermined compounds could be released in trace quantities. Emission usually only occurs during the first heating. The released gases may be irritating to the eyes, nose and throat during initial heat-up. Use appropriate respirators (air supplied) particularly in tightly confined or poorly ventilated areas during initial
heat-up.

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

http://www.roxul.co…

I hope that helps,

Rod

 

 

anonymous Wed, 07/27/2005 - 13:18
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".

Thanks

HockeyMike Tue, 09/27/2005 - 03:56
On the subject of rockwool...

a soundproofing material supplier is recommending using it for insulating inside ventilation systems, including ductwork, to keep sound from reverberating inside. While it's not a carcinogen, I would think it could cause breathing problems in that kind of usage. Any thoughts?

z60611 Tue, 09/27/2005 - 11:35
HockeyMike:

It's not a 'health hazard' due to above.
Fluffy Pink fiberglass and the rigid rockwool that I've got both flake -- so they're an irritant and dusty and need a cover IMO.

For ventilation systems, you should only use materials that are rated for duct work. Linacoustic is an example. It's got enough glue on it to keep the fibers in place even if a gale force wind blows on it.

For the return air duct, you certainly don't have any concerns because the furnace filter will catch anything that falls off.

Rod Gervais Tue, 09/27/2005 - 13:07
HockeyMike wrote: On the subject of rockwool...

a soundproofing material supplier is recommending using it for insulating inside ventilation systems, including ductwork, to keep sound from reverberating inside. While it's not a carcinogen, I would think it could cause breathing problems in that kind of usage. Any thoughts?

Your Soundproofing supplier is a moron - and should stick to what he knows - which is soundproofing. (He obviously doesn't know squat about HVAC systems).

You want to use duct liner to line duct......... preferably you use a polymer coated duct liner that further reduces the possibility of fiberglass particles blowing free.

That is a black faced duct liner.

You are very correct that it could cause problems - even though it isn't a carcinogen - I would hate to be asthmatic and walk into a space set up like that.

Sincerely,

Rod

anonymous Thu, 10/06/2005 - 22:31
Rod Gervais wrote: [quote=the dreamer]I just read a short article about mineralwool emitting Formaldehyde 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 about the Formaldehyde?


Dreamer,

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 recommended that one wear a dust respirator rather than a gas respirator.

This directly from an MSD Sheet:

Material Safety Data Sheet
Material Name: Mineral Wool Insulation
Page 1 of 7 Issue Date: April 18, 2005 Replaces Issue: January 21, 2004
1. Identification:
1.1 Product Generic Name: Mineral Wool Insulation
1.2 Product Use: Commercial, Industrial and Residential Insulation
1.3 Products:
CavityRockÔ, ConRockÔ, CurtainRockÔ, DrainBoardÔ, EnerWrapÔ, FlexibattÒ, Noise Stop, RHFÔ, RHMÔ,
RHTÔ, ROXUL AFBÔ, ROXULPlusÒ, ROXULÒ 1200, RXLÔ, RWÔ, SAFE, Safe’n’SoundÔ, TechtonÔ 1200,
TechtonÔ 1200 Marine, TopRockÔ P, TopRockÔ F, SturdiRockÔ
1.4 Company Address: Roxul Inc.
551 Harrop Drive
Milton, Ontario
Canada

8.3 Personal Protective Equipment::
8.3.1 Respiratory:
8.3.1.1 General:
If dust levels exceed applicable exposure limits, wear a NIOSH certified dust respirator with an efficiency rating of N95 or higher. Use disposable face masks complying with NIOSH respirator standards, such as a 3M Model 8210 (or 8710) (3M Model 9900 in high humidity environments) or equivalent. For exposures up to five times the established exposure limits use a quarter-mask respirator, rated N95 or higher; and for exposures up to ten times the established exposure limits use a half-mask respirator (e.g. MSA’s DM-11, Racal’s Delta N95, 3M’s 8210), rated N95 or higher. For exposures up to 50 times the established exposure limits use a full-face respirator, rated N99 or higher.


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

10. Stability and Reactivity:
10.1 Stability: Stable
10.2 Reactivity: Not reactive
10.3 Thermal decomposition products:
Primary combustion products of the cured urea extended phenolic formaldehyde binder, when heated above 390 °F (200 °C), are carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ammonia, water and trace amounts of formaldehyde.

Other undetermined compounds could be released in trace quantities. Emission usually only occurs during the first heating. The released gases may be irritating to the eyes, nose and throat during initial heat-up. Use appropriate respirators (air supplied) particularly in tightly confined or poorly ventilated areas during initial
heat-up.


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

http://www.roxul.co…

I hope that helps,

Rod
To add a little to what Rod discusses above:

formaldehyde is bad for you because it reacts with alot of things, and generally when things go reacting with you, that's not good.

But in the form that is present in fiberglass, the vast majority of the formaldehyde is reacted. past-tense.

It is an awesomely useful, and extremely widely used chemical. Probably 10 billion pounds/year of formaldehyde are used in the US alone. It is probably one of the 10 or 20 or 30 most commonly used chemicals in the world. Which means you own alot of it, and i mean alot. Its everywhere, and in everything. Most durable coatings use formaldehyde. The clearcoat on your car is one example. In the form of melamine-formalehyde crosslinkers. Why? It's cheap and basically nothing performs better.

The odor threshold of something is how much concentration of it in the air you or the average person can smell. The odor threshold of formaldehyde is about 1 ppm, one part per million in the air, that's not very much.

OSHA limits workplace exposure over an 8 hour workday to 0.5 ppm formaldehyde, a little less than the odor threshold. and 2ppm for a 15minute exposure. OSHA takes their job pretty seriously, and i have faith in that organization, and you can assume that the above represent safe exposure levels.

So, can you smell formaldehyde coming off your rockwool? probably not.

If the resins containing formaldehyde release formaldehyde when it hits 400 degrees, and you're in the room to breathe it, you have bigger problems than the formaldehyde anyway. And the MSDS Rod quoted said trace amounts of formaldehyde.

the key is this: reacted. these products contain reacted formaldehyde. Once it's reacted, it's not getting in the air, and it's not going to react with you.

This is an intensely litigious society, and nobody wants another asbestos and the billions it cost industry, and as such formaldehyde may get phased out... they may phase it out as a marketing thing - one company might release "formaldehyde free" insulation to gain an advantage, and the rest shortly follow suit, maybe they already have.

You must make up your own mind about safety issues, i can't do that for you, i can only speak for myself. I wouldn't fret about formaldehyde in insulation. I've never smelled any, even if i shove my face near the stuff.

Brian

anonymous Thu, 10/06/2005 - 22:37
some other fun facts:

the foam on your chair cushion and in room treatments contains a member of the chemical family that is responsible for the single most tragic industrial accident in history... In Bhopal, India. So horrendous was that incident, that tens of thousands died, hundreds of thousands were injured, and websites devoted to it abound on the 'net to this day, 20 years later. An isocyanate is that chemical.

but it's reacted. in foam it is, literally, a ZERO concern.


now, the exact chemcial that wreaked so much horror upon Bhopal was found a couple years ago in Marlboros, in it's free form.

yikes

anonymous Mon, 02/13/2006 - 06:14
This whole thread is grossly misleading as it only deals with the topic of cancer. (edit note - I see that since posting this, some people have indeed mentioned the problems of glass and slag dust).

Rockwool and glasswool have other dangerous properties when intergrated into buildings. By stating (probably correctly) that rockwool and glasswool do not cause cancer, you are implying that they are perfectly healthy and safe to use. They are not.

In most climates, rockwool and glasswool draw moisture out of the atmosphere and hold the moisture over very long periods. When these materials are used in contact with raw brickwork and especially with older raw brickwork, they serve to keep the bricks and themselves wet thoughout the year.

This not only damages the building, but also leads to dangerous fungal growth in the walls. The spors of these fungi can be cancer causing (not all are, but some are) and can also lead to lung infections.

To imply that these materials are safe is irresponsible.

Rod Gervais Mon, 02/13/2006 - 06:28
The Byre wrote: This whole thread is grossly misleading as it only deals with the topic of cancer. (edit note - I see that since posting this, some people have indeed mentioned the problems of glass and slag dust).

Rockwool and glasswool have other dangerous properties when intergrated into buildings. By stating (probably correctly) that rockwool and glasswool do not cause cancer, you are implying that they are perfectly healthy and safe to use. They are not.

In most climates, rockwool and glasswool draw moisture out of the atmosphere and hold the moisture over very long periods. When these materials are used in contact with raw brickwork and especially with older raw brickwork, they serve to keep the bricks and themselves wet thoughout the year.

This not only damages the building, but also leads to dangerous fungal growth in the walls. The spors of these fungi can be cancer causing (not all are, but some are) and can also lead to lung infections.

To imply that these materials are safe is irresponsible.

Awww, come on now - why do you have to come all the way over here just to make yourself look foolish?

You are correct that bad building practices with these products can cause problems with moisture and mold...........

SO WHAT - bad driving with an automible can cause death as well - that doesn't say anything about the automobile - just about the moron driving it.

SO if you want to build badly - then have your problems - but I have built - and coordinated the building of more than a billion dollars in construction - and have never had a problem with condensation due to whatever insulation what used on a project - just detail the vapor barrier in the proper location and voila - no problems.

There is nothing "irresponsible" about this thread - although there is something "irresponsible" about people who have no knowledge posting as if they do.

Sincerely,

Rod

anonymous Mon, 02/13/2006 - 07:20
Ah Rod, we met again!

In this case, you and I are probably singing off the same hymn sheet. There is a good chance that people will read that rockwool does not cause cancer and therefore assume is OK to use anywhere.

That's the problem with all these forums, everything we write can only be a half truth. We have a short space and a short time to write just a few words of advice and by doing so leave out so much other information that should, in an ideal World, be included.

Most home-built studios are built by family fathers into existing old buildings who do not have much knowledge of building materials and building regulations. There is a real danger that they will stick the rockwool straight onto the brickwork and cause huge problems in years to come.

Amateur studios get built into the boarderline rooms of a house like the attic and basement. Rooms that were never intended to be lived in. These are the rooms that were originally designed to protect the rest of the house from dampness, wind and rain and be used (if at all) as storage.

So perhaps we can agree that rockwool does not cause cancer, but please remember all the other common sense rules about using this type of material and others.

Rod Gervais Mon, 02/13/2006 - 07:52
Brye,

Well met............ 8-)

If you do a search on this site for mold - you will see over 30 threads (this one now becomes one of them) that address the issue.......

This is a valid concern that we pay attention to here - which is another one of the reasons we ask people to post as much information as we do before answering their questions.........

If you were to look at the thread "exterior wall reconstruction" - you would find that the poster was placing the vapor barrier incorrectly - and we went out of our way to educate him in this regard.

You would find similar posts regarding the design of HVAC system - and the need for humidity control - to maintain healthy mold free buildings.

All of this (of course) along with plenty of fresh air - no sense to building perfectly sealed death chambers disguised as isolation booths.........

We really try very hard here to address the most inportant issues first - which always deal with proper construction techniques.

Sincerely,

Rod

anonymous Mon, 02/13/2006 - 08:15
Well, yes and no. I have seen some truely hairy contructions and 'studios' that are just death traps. Damp, foul walls covered with rockwool. Electrical supply wires just twisted together. No ventilation. Removal of support walls. Removal of structural timbers. Glass doors and iso-booth windows made out of float glass. You name it and the chances are that I've seen it.

So may I suggest a sticky -- how about 'Things that can kill you!' as a thread?

Rod Gervais Mon, 02/13/2006 - 08:46
The Byre wrote: Well, yes and no. I have seen some truely hairy contructions and 'studios' that are just death traps. Damp, foul walls covered with rockwool. Electrical supply wires just twisted together. No ventilation. Removal of support walls. Removal of structural timbers. Glass doors and iso-booth windows made out of float glass. You name it and the chances are that I've seen it.

So may I suggest a sticky -- how about 'Things that can kill you!' as a thread?

Byre,

I suppose I could put together one of those - and perhaps I will.

However - you do understand that the same people who constructed the death traps you've seen - would still do exactly the same after reading it......

It will only educate the same people that we are educating through other means already.

Sincerely,

Rod

anonymous Mon, 02/13/2006 - 09:30
I beg to differ! Some of them will read a bit here and there in a forum and then maybe they will come across such a thread and think twice. I have seen a girl cut in half and bleed to death because Daddy decided to replace a broken window with ordinary float glass. He just did not know that there were different types of glass! (This was not a studio build though.)

I have seen one studio owner have his studio explode because he impregnated rockwool with some stuff and it just went up in flames when he lit a cigarette in the studio. Unfortunately he survived, though it took several months for his hair to grow back!

The number of people I have seen give themselves electrical shocks through blinding stupidity must run into double figures (myself included, but I was seven at the time!) One guy just connected the wires together any old how. It never occured to him that they had different colours for a reason. I kid you not - though he did end up shooting himself in the head.

In my days on the road, I have seen two roadies set themselves on fire, one guy try to strip the electrical supply wire using his teeth when it was still connected to the mains and a roadie knock himself out by pushing a follower-spot away that swung back and knocked him off the stage and into the orchestra pit. Now that I come to think of it, I could sit here all day and write up this stuff. There was the guy who killed himself moving a piano . . .

anonymous Fri, 03/31/2006 - 19:04
Brian R wrote:

So, can you smell formaldehyde coming off your rockwool? probably not.


Brian

I'm new to this forum - so first, hello everyone :-)

What Brian wrote is exactly my problem! I try to improve my acustics and bought to big blocks of glass wool (Isover) to experiment with them.
I covered them with very thin plastic foil (as far as I know this only affect the highs) but some days later a smell formaldehyd in the air. To comfirm this, I stabed a small hole into the foil and immediately smelled a remarkable(!) amount of formaldehy coming from this small hole.

I returned the glass wool the next day...

My room temperatur really wasn`t greater then 150° :-) , so why does I smell formaldehyd? Maybe a failure ?

Rod Gervais Fri, 04/21/2006 - 19:44
JCR wrote: Ok, other question... 8)

Your glass wool don't smell of formaldehyd, right?

JCR,

sorry I missed this -

Some products are manufactured with formaldehyd compounds - and it isn't a big deal if you set them in a safe dry place and allow them to air out for a few days to a week or so......... they will stop off-gassing in time - and then will not release any more gasses......

Sincerely,

Rod

philsaudio Sun, 04/08/2007 - 12:38
Fiberglass panels used in air conditioning plenums.

I was looking for something to make some absorber panels from at home depot a couple of weeks ago.

I found that they sell 2'x2' 1 inch (r-board) backed plenum panels to build a plenum box out of.

Just what is this used for? At the intake or the hot air feed in residential forced-air handlers they use stuff like 705 foil backed fiberglass panels too build return or feed manifolds so the ducts can have a common place next to the air handler to terminate in.

What? You mean that they use this nasty fiberglass board, raw side toward the airflow for the heating/ventelation/air/conditioning system in places where people live eat and sleep. YEP they sure do!

Tom Fodor Tue, 10/02/2007 - 17:08
Wow! The US government and so many subsidized research agencies are such reliable sources of information. (Never covered up anything to prevent a loss of revenue).javascript:emoticon(':lol:') Perhaps completely ignoring the independent research material presented by so many people with no economic motivations is a great idea! Believe what you want, but if there is a 10% risk that this crap causes cancer under normal "static" conditions why the hell would you sit in a room covered in it and pump vibrations through it to it's release fibers? I Know you cover it with fabric so those 20 micron particles can't get out. Ever tried to carry a gallon of custard around in a onion bag? Fabric won't stop it! Why tempt fate when there are so many alternatives that are completely safe.The Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) Recently had to refit half its production facilities because this crap was making it's employees seriously ill. The Australian Government tried to put a gag order on this case study so what makes you think the US government or a huge manufacturing company wouldn't do the same. Where there's smoke we usually find fire....javascript:emoticon(':twisted:')

anonymous Tue, 04/28/2009 - 10:18
z60611 wrote: HockeyMike:

It's not a 'health hazard' due to above.
Fluffy Pink fiberglass and the rigid rockwool that I've got both flake -- so they're an irritant and dusty and need a cover IMO.

For ventilation systems, you should only use materials that are rated for duct work. Linacoustic is an example. It's got enough glue on it to keep the fibers in place even if a gale force wind blows on it.

For the return air duct, you certainly don't have any concerns because the furnace filter will catch anything that falls off.

i think you need to replace it for a new one, if this nothing to fix

http://www.iaqsourc… Furnace Filter

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