Fiber Safety

Extensive research supports the position that Owens Corning insulation glass fibers are safe to manufacture, and use when recommended work practices are followed. Our position is verified by independent and our own researchers. Our fiberglass insulation can be used with confidence because:

  • Exposures to airborne fibers are low during handling and use.
  • Fibers that are inhaled disappear rapidly from the body.
  • There is no evidence of disease in humans or animals from inhaling glass wool insulation fibers.

Health: Owens Corning’s insulation fiber compositions consist of long fibers that disappear from the lung at a rate equal to or faster than, short fibers or normal dust. These are efficiently removed from the lung by macrophage-mediated clearance. In contrast to other fibers that may persist in the body for decades, ordinary insulation wool glasses are removed in weeks or months. No significant lung disease was found in laboratory animals that inhaled ordinary glass wool insulation fibers at concentrations thousands of times higher than typical workplace exposures.

Safety: In high concentrations, fiberglass insulation particles may cause temporary respiratory irritation. This is minimized by observing the following work practices:

  • Skin: Wear loose-fitting, long sleeved shirt, long pants and gloves; do not tape sleeves or pants at wrists or ankles; when finished working, wash skin with mild soap and warm, running water
  • Eyes (when working overhead): Wear safety glasses, goggles or face shield; wear a hat
  • Nose, mouth, throat: Use a 3M model 8710 (3M model 9900 in high humidity environments) disposable respirator when working in an enclosed or poorly ventilated space, when using power tools, when installing loosefill, or when in any dusty environment.
  • Additional measures to minimize potential irritation: Keep work space clean; use correct cutting tools; use a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter vacuum or dust collection system where possible

Environmental: Owens Corning products have positive affects on the environment by incorporating recycled content, conserving natural resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For details, please visit Products for a Sustainable Future.

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