Compliance, Health & Safety

Glasswool and rockwool insulation products are not hazardous products and are safe to install and use in your home or in other insulation applications for the life of the building.

The safety of insulation materials is a question that many people ask.

Common insulation products, such as glasswool (formerly called fiberglass), rockwool, polyester, sheepswool and cellulose (shredded paper) are fibrous in nature, as it is the mat of fibers that creates their effective insulation properties.

Cutting or blowing these fibrous materials during manufacture or installation releases small quantities of loose fibres or dust. Ceiling spaces in homes or building sites are dusty environments anyway, and responsible manufacturers or builders always recommend that installers be protected against this dust, by wearing simple face masks, long sleeve shirts and trousers, or goggles for overhead work, to ensure the most comfortable work environment during installation.

The key question is whether exposure to these dusts represents a health hazard – both during installation and in situations over the long term. Health and safety of insulation products has therefore been thoroughly researched in Australia and internationally.

The answer is that none of the common insulation products listed above are considered hazardous.

Comprehensively Researched

Glasswool and rockwool insulation products have been comprehensively researched, and in 2002 the World Health Organisation concluded that after more than 30 years research, including studies on over 60,000 insulation workers, there is no long term serious risk to health from exposure to insulation fibres.

To further ensure the safety of our products, Bradford Insulation changed the formulation of glasswool and rockwool insulation in 2001 to now use what are known as “bio-soluble fibres”. Insulation fibres are now less bio-persistent than the dust we breathe in every day walking down the street and are not considered to pose any risk to health. You can identify bio-soluble fibres by the FBS-1 logo on our packs. For more information please go to the Insulation Council Australia & New Zealand website

The reason why glasswool and rockwool insulation are so popular is not just because of their excellent thermal and acoustic properties, but because they are durable, performing for the lifetime of the building, and non-combustible. This is because they are made from inert, inorganic mineral fibers. But this also produces a fiber that is so strong that it can result in mild irritation to the skin during installation. This irritation is mechanical in nature only. There is no evidence of any resulting long term skin irritation once the loose fibers are washed off the skin. Glasswool and rockwool do not cause dermatitis or any other skin conditions.

Once installed and left undisturbed there is no fiber release from the products and in fact both products have been assessed by the National Asthma Council's 'Sensitive Choice' product advisory panel and found to be low allergen products suitable for asthma and allergy sufferers.

Non hazardous and no harmful VOC's

Glasswool and rockwool products also do not contain harmful VOC’s – Volatile Organic Compounds; they do not contain any harmful amounts of formaldehyde or other organic chemicals, and no Ozone depleting Products (ODP’s) are used in their manufacture.

Glasswool and rockwool insulation products are not hazardous products and are safe to install and use in your home or in other insulation applications for the life of the building.

Safe to install

Bradford foil insulation or sarking products are also safe to install and use. The only caution with foil products is to keep them away from electrical power outlets or lights, as they can conduct electricity through the aluminium metal reflective covering. Care must also be taken when installing under metal or tile roofs.

Similarly ventilation products installed on roofs must be done so with extreme care to avoid falls. For more information, visit the Edmonds website

If you require further health and safety information on any Bradford products please view our product MSDS's or Contact us.

For commonly asked product safety questions, please visit the Knowledge Centre.

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