PHILIPPINES: Safety of glass wool insulation confirmed

Glass wool insulating material has been declared safe by an international body.
Asia Pacific Insulation Corporation (APIC) recently released the results of an extensive re-evaluation and study made b…

Glass wool insulating material has been declared safe by an international body. Asia Pacific Insulation Corporation (APIC) recently released the results of an extensive re-evaluation and study made by a scientific working group of 19 experts from 11 countries convened by the Monographs Program of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) regarding the carcinogenic risk of airborne man-made vitreous fibres. These fibres – in the form of wool – are widely used in thermal and acoustical insulation in Europe, North America, and now in Asia. Studies published during the 15 years since the previous IARC Monographs review said the fibres provide no evidence of increased risks of lung cancer or of mesothelioma or cancer of the lining of the body cavities, from occupational exposure during manufacture of these materials. Much of the extensive medical-scientific research that was relied upon by the IARC was conducted at leading independent laboratories and universities in the US and other countries. Ken Mentzer, president of the North American Insulation Manufacturers (NAIMA), emphasized that “the IARC re-evaluation confirms NAIMA“s confidence in the safety of its members“ products for both workers and consumers.” As such, the IARC has changed the classification of glass wool from a Group 2B, meaning “possible carcinogenic to humans”, to a Group 3 classification, meaning “not classifiable as to carcinogenicity to humans.” APIC, which manufactures residential and industrial insulation materials from glass wool for both the local and export markets, believes that the result of the IARC studies proves that glass wool is safe and “with this revised classification, all apprehensions and doubts about the non-carcinogenicity of our glass wool products will be put to rest,” said Tom T. Carrasco, APIC vice-president and chief operating officer, in a statement. Carrasco also cited the strict standards followed by APIC in its ISO 9000 certified plant in Calamba, Laguna, same with the installation systems adhered to by the company for both its residential and industrial clients both in the Philippines and other parts of Asia.