Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What Steps Can Be Taken To Reduce Exposure to Fiberglass

What Steps Can I Take to Reduce Exposure? - As per the American Lung Association Website

There are several ways you can minimize exposure to fiberglass material. Be sure to "work smart” when insta- lling fiberglass insulation in your home. Follow similar safety steps any time you remove fiberglass insulation or undertake a home improvement project that involves working with or around fiberglass insulation.

During installation follow the directions on the package as well as these safety steps:

  • Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved clothing and long pants.
  • Do not tape sleeves or pants at wrists or ankles.
  • Wear gloves.
  • Do not scratch or rub your skin if fiberglass particles accumulate on your skin.
  • When you finish, wash skin or shower with mild soap and warm, running water.


  • Wear safety glasses with side shields.
    Wear a hat.
  • Do not rub your eyes while you are working with fiberglass. Be sure to complete clean up before rubbing your eyes or scratching your skin.

Nose, Mouth, and Throat

If you experience irritation of the nose, mouth, or throat you should consider wearing an "N 95" particulate respirator approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. If you are working in a dusty environ- ment, or are working with fiberglass insulation overhead, a disposable dust respirator may be a good idea. Be sure to read and follow the respirator manufacturer's instructions regarding selection and proper use of respirators. Most home improvement stores sell these types of disposable respirators.

Installation and Clean-Up

Follow these steps and be sure to read and follow manufacturer's instructions carefully.

  • Keep your workspace clean.
  • Do not handle fiberglass scrap more than necessary. Have a waste bin or plastic trash bag close by at all times.
    Use correct cutting tools such as a sharp utility knife and a straight edge.
  • When cleaning your work area, be orga- nized in your approach so that you do not spread fibers back into an area you have cleaned previously.
  • Make sure all installed insulation is never left exposed in an occupied area. If the insulation does not have any protective covering or facing, it may cause irritation to anyone coming into direct contact with the glass fibers. If the insulation has a paper or foil covering it presents a potential fire hazard.
  • Change work clothes after you finish your fiberglass insulation project.
  • Wash work clothes separately and wipe out washer after cycle is complete.
  • As with any other building material the fiberglass insulation has to be clean and dry. If insulation is wet, it can become contaminated with mold.
  • If a remodeling project involves removal of fiberglass insulation, follow the installa- tion safety steps listed above.

Source: http://www.lungusa.org/site/pp.asp?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=35439#reduce

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