Insulation

Hazards and recommended protections for insulation are categorized by the type of insulating materials. In addition to personal protective equipment, proper ventilation is critical, especially when working with spray polyurethane foam.

Spray Polyurethane Foam

Hazards: asthma; sensitization; lung damage; other respiratory and breathing problems; eye and skin irritation; cancer.

Source: isocyanates; chlorinated flame retardants.

Recommended Protection: air purifying respirator with full face mask; eye protection; chemical resistant clothing; chemical resistant gloves; over-boots; ventilation.

Expanded Polystyrene, Extruded Polystyrene Foam

Hazards: respiratory irritation; neurological effects.

Source: brominated flame retardants.

Recommended Protection: dust mask; eye protection; gloves. Note: upgrade respirator protection if product is being burned.

Polyisocyanurate Foam

Hazards: respiratory, eye, and skin irritation.

Source: chlorinated flame retardants.

Recommended Protection: dust mask; eye protection; gloves.

Fiberglass, Mineral Wool

Hazards: asthma trigger (if formaldehyde is present); eye and skin irritation; respiratory irritation and inflammation.

Source: fibers.

Recommended Protection: dust mask; eye protection; loose-fitting, long-sleeved and long-legged clothing; head cover; gloves; ventilation.

Cellulose, Natural Wool, Cotton

Hazards: respiratory, eye, and skin irritation; reproductive toxicity.

Source: borate flame retardants (cellulose/cotton); fibers.

Recommended Protection: dust mask; eye protection; loose-fitting, long-sleeved and long-legged clothing; head cover; gloves; ventilation.