Fiberglass Facts: Epidemiological Studies Look at How Fiberglass Can Affect Your Health

March 7, 2017 7:39 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

While working in an industry that encounters fiberglass products can raise your risk of exposure to unhealthy air particles, just as likely to come in contact with this type of material are people in residential homes and commercial buildings. What exactly is fiberglass, though, and where can you find it? We’ll address these questions and more shortly.

When used and installed properly, fiberglass applications are not a danger, yet they should still be checked every so often. There have been and continue to be epidemiological studies conducted on how fiberglass can affect your health—namely fiberglass in the lungs and fiberglass particles as an indoor air contaminant. To reduce your chances of exposure to indoor contaminants, it’s highly recommended that you hire an indoor environmental expert to conduct thorough inspections for contaminants like mold, bacteria and fiberglass. Or, if you suspect asbestos in your home or business building, invest in asbestos testing in Aspen, CO.

Here are some answers to the most common questions about fiberglass:

What is fiberglass and where is it used?

Fiberglass is a man-made fiber that is also called glass wool or fibrous glass. You might be wondering if there is glass mixed in with fiberglass materials; yes, there is. Glass is the main substance used to form the fibers for products like attic and wall insulation, but it’s also used to insulate pipes and large appliances, and to control noise in vehicles and aircraft.

How do you become exposed, and how do you reduce your risk of exposure?

Working around fiberglass often leads to exposure to fiberglass particles; professionals like building insulation installers, construction workers and pest exterminators are particularly at risk. However, tiny dust particles are created when fiberglass materials are cut, trimmed or altered in any way that breaks its form. If insulation is disturbed, these unhealthy particles can get into homes and buildings through air ducts and crawlspace or attic openings. Inhaling or touching fiberglass is not good for your skin or your respiratory health.

Homeowners can get inspections for indoor air contaminants. For folks working around fiberglass, here are some ways to reduce your exposure to it:

  • Wear gloves and loose fitting, full-coverage clothing to protect your skin.
  • Wear eye protection, and cover your mouth and nose with a mask.
  • Use a shop vacuum to reduce dust levels; also open doors and windows for better ventilation.

How can fiberglass affect your health?

Depending on the length of exposure and the size of the fibers, you may experience irritation in your eyes, respiratory system and on skin. Large fiber hazards include:

  • Long-term health effects of touching fiberglass are not likely, but you might get a rash.
  • Fiberglass particles can cause red, irritated eyes. It may feel like a stinging, burning itch.
  • The dust can aggravate existing respiratory issues, like asthma. Generally, inhaling it can lead to a sore nose and throat, and swallowing can irritate your stomach.
  • Smaller fibers can easily enter your respiratory system, leading to lung problems and other health issues.

For the most effective and trustworthy indoor air testing and asbestos testing in Aspen, CO, contact the experienced team at HealthSafe Inspections Inc. Rest assured, we’ve got the tools and know-how to remedy your home or business air quality issues!

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