There are many substances used in the manufacture of the various types of insulation. The resulting thickness, or mass, of the insulation
depends on the nature of those substances. Each type of insulation has its own, unique qualities that can benefit your home. This is a look at one of those unique types of insulation; fiberglass.
To understand if fiberglass insulation is right for you home, it is important to have some knowledge of how fibers behave in general. Most people are aware of Asbestos; it too is a fibrous substance and used to be an industrial standard but was found to be extremely hazardous to health.
Fibrous substances look like tiny little hairs. They can be made of virtually any material and are often combined with other tiny materials. Individually, fibrous substances are fragile, but when manufactured for particular uses, they can be quite useful. However, some care must be used when handling fibers; the small, dust sized particles can be inhaled. In the case of fiberglass insulation, some irritation in the form of a scratchy or itchy sensation can be experienced but with virtually no health issues; Asbestos on the other hand had very different and dangerous effects when the fibers entered the lungs and clung to them, causing illness.
While some discomfort can be associated with the handling of fiberglass insulation, it is not a dangerous substance. In fact, it is so safe that it is actually the most well-known form of insulation even if few people actually ever handle it; you know it as the “pink stuff” that you’ve seen on T.V. commercials for years and is often associated with the Pink Panther cartoon character.
There is some debate that fiberglass insulation could be carcinogenic based on some animal tests first performed in 1994. Subsequent tests however refuted the older results. Regardless, if you are going to handle a fibrous substance, you should take the proper minimum safety precautions: loose-fitting clothes, eye protection, gloves, and dust masks. Also, if the insulation someday becomes exposed, you should seal it back up in a timely manner.
Other benefits of fiberglass insulation besides its obvious use as an insulator is that if it becomes wet, it will only lose its R-value properties until dried. Other forms of insulation are not quite as durable. It is also useful as soundproofing material; an extra layer or two might not increase your energy cost savings, but it could let you listen to your home entertainment at a greater volume without disturbing family or neighbors; something that everyone can appreciate.