Is Attic Insulation Safe?

Written by laurie reeves Google
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Is Attic Insulation Safe?
Protect yourself properly when installing insulation; use goggles, a dust mask and a long sleeve shirt. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

When you go into your attic you may find it filled with fibreglass, cellulose, mineral rock wool or foam insulation. Most insulation is safe after installation. But during the installation process, fibres from fibreglass, rock wool or cellulose can cause irritations. Spray foam insulation is highly toxic when installed; take special precautions during this process.

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Fibreglass Insulation

Fibreglass insulation comes in faced and unfaced batts, rigid batts or is blown-in. Blown-in insulation resembles candyfloss or large puffs of cotton. Made from woven strands of glass, fibreglass insulation is essentially harmless after installation, but can cause skin irritation during the installation process. The materials that make up fibreglass include sand, ash, boron, recycled glass and acrylic polymers.

Cellulose Insulation

Cellulose insulation is made from recycled paper, and while paper itself isn't harmful, some of the inks and chemicals used on paper are. The chemicals and fibres from cellulose insulation can be irritating or cause allergic reactions to those affected with these types of allergies, during the installation process.

Rock Wool Insulation

Rock and iron ore materials are used to make rock wool insulation. The chemical binders used in rock wool insulation can cause allergic reactions to those who are super sensitive, but most irritations from rock wool occur at the installation stage.

Foam Insulation

This insulation is the most hazardous because it's made entirely from chemicals, such as polyurethane and chemical binders. The manufacturing and installation process is highly toxic and the foam requires several days to cure after installation. Toxic fumes may result.

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