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California’s Prop 65 and Respirable Glass Wool Fiber Public Health Concerns

Zoom  Zoom Issue Date:2011-09-15   Source: Webwire   Browse:626

In 1986, California voters approved an initiative to address increasing concerns about exposure to toxic chemicals. That initiative, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, is better known by its original name of Proposition 65.


Proposition 65 requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the products they purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment.  This list includes glass wool fibers of a respirable size that can be inhaled by people.


According to the National Toxicology Program (NTP), “Glass wool fibers are synthetic or man-made, very small finely spun fibers of glass that form a mass resembling wool. There is considerable variation in the properties of individual fibers within this class, depending on the manufacturing process and end use. They are commonly used for insulation or filtration.”


The NTP states that there are generally two categories of glass wool fibers that consumers might use:


1.Low-cost general-purpose fibers and premium special-purpose fibers. Most home and building insulation projects use general-purpose glass wool.


2.Special-purpose glass fibers are used for applications, such as separating the negative and positive plates in a battery, and in high-efficiency air filters and aircraft, spacecraft, and acoustical insulation.


“Most exposures to glass wool fibers occur in the workplace, but home renovation projects can also create situation where people could inhale the dangerous fibers,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc., a leading indoor air quality (IAQ) and industrial hygiene testing laboratory.  “There have been studies linking exposure to glass wool fibers and cancer.  Fortunately there are affordable testing methods to ensure people are not breathing glass wool fibers and suspect materials can be quickly tested before potential home improvement projects begin that could otherwise aerosolize the fibers,” he continued.


LA Testing provides services to test for glass wool fibers, asbestos, lead and other potentially toxic materials.


About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.


LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The companies have an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


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