Research Supports Safety of Rock Wool Insulation


There’s no doubt about the efficiency of rock wool insulation. However, many are rightly concerned about the health effects of exposure to any form of insulation. The good news is that more than 70 years of extensive research has been performed regarding the effects of exposure, both to those who manufacture it and those who live and work in buildings that utilize it. Consider four key findings of the research funded by the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) and sponsored by the Occupational Health and Safety Association (OSHA).

  1. There is no increased cancer risk. As a result of numerous tests, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) removed wool and slag fibers from its list of substances “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” The IARC specifically stated there was “inadequate evidence overall of any cancer risk.” The U.S. National Academy of Sciences conducted similar studies and also found “no significant association between fiber exposure and lung cancer or nonmalignant respiratory disease.”
  2. The fibers are biosoluable. Research by the NAIMA showed that this attribute of rock wool makes it safer. Biosoluable means the fibers are easily dissolved in bodily fluids, unlike other fibers that do contribute to disease.
  3. Respirable particles in the air are minimal. The research showed that in most cases the amount of breathable fibers found in the air was less than one fiber per cc. Additionally, the levels found inside insulated buildings was not significantly different from uninsulated buildings or even the outside air.
  4. Safe for all uses. The extensive research looked at the safety of those who manufacture and install rock wool insulation, as well as average citizens who live and work in buildings where it is used. In all cases, when recommended practices are followed, minimal irritation occured.

Rock wool insulation is an energy-friendly product that can reduce heating and cooling costs and contribute to a more comfortable indoor environment. Scientific evidence supports its safety and efficiency. Contact us to find out how this product can improve your next building or renovation project.

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