REVIEW PAPER
Occupational risk resulting from exposure to mineral wool when installing insulation in buildings
 
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Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (Department of Chemical Safety)
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Małgorzata Kupczewska-Dobecka   

Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Department of Chemical Safety, św. Teresy 8, 91-348 Łódź, Poland
Online publication date: 2020-10-08
 
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2020;33(6):757–769
 
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ABSTRACT
Mineral wool is widely used for thermal and sound insulation. The subject of the study is to identify hazards for employees resulting from exposure to mineral wool, when it is used to insulate buildings, and to assess the risk arising from this exposure. When installing mineral wool insulation, respirable mineral fibers, dust, and volatile organic compounds may pose a hazard at workplaces. Based on the results of concentration measurements, it was assessed that the probability of adverse health effects related to the work of insulation installers, resulting from exposure to mineral wool fibers, is low, but for dust associated with exposure, an average health risk was estimated. An additional threat may be the sensitizing effect of substances used as binders and additives improving the utility properties of mineral wool, for example, phenol formaldehyde resins. The paper also contains some information on the labeling of mineral wool; this is very important because the label allows downstream users to recognize mineral wools, the composition and properties of which cause that they are not classified as carcinogens. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2020;33(6):757–69
eISSN:1896-494X
ISSN:1232-1087