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Inhalation of Insulation Strands Can Harm Construction Workers

By William Chanfrau, Jr. on January 18, 2017

An emergency room entranceThe victims of construction accidents aren't just innocent bystanders. Many times the construction workers themselves are the victims of poor safety practices or dangerous corner-cutting that puts their lives in peril. Whatever the case may be, injury accident victims in Daytona Beach can count on us for expert legal help.

One potential source of harm is a ubiquitous material found in many of our homes, offices, and businesses. With this in mind, let's consider why fiberglass insulation needs to be handled with care.

What Is Fiberglass?

Fiberglass is a special kind of fiber-reinforced plastic. The reinforcement fiber is comprised of glass fiber, hence the name. The material is strong and lightweight, and it is generally affordable to create and use. It's commonly used as an insulation material thanks to its ability to slow the spread of heat, cold, and sound.

Though fiberglass may be associated with a soft and fluffy look, it can actually pose a number of health risks if people are not careful around it.

Is Fiberglass Dangerous?

Yes, potentially.

The small glass fiber in fiberglass can irritate the skin upon touch. If particles from fiberglass become airborne, they may might be inhaled or get into the eyes, leading to further serious irritation. This is unpleasant in small doses, certainly, and it can be much more dangerous if your job entails use or contact with fiberglass on a regular basis.

Health Problems Associated with Fiberglass Inhalation

Fiberglass has been associated with the following health issues:

  • Respiratory Distress – Studies have found that inhalation of fiberglass insulation can result in bronchitis-like symptoms and serious irritation of the throat, nasal passage, and mouth.

  • Worsening of Asthma – Studies have also found that regular exposure to fiberglass insulation can worsen a person's asthma, and may even trigger the symptoms of asthma.

It's possible for fine particles of fiberglass to become lodged in the lungs, leading to a number of potential respiratory health issues.

There is debate regarding increased cancer risk associated with the exposure to fiberglass. More detailed studies need to be performed in order to determine if such a connection between fiberglass and cancer exists.

Proper Safety Precautions When Working Around Fiberglass

Whenever a construction worker or industrial worker is around fiberglass, proper safety precautions need to be taken.

It's recommended that workers handling fiberglass insulation wear gloves, long sleeves, pants, and goggles. This will prevent irritation to the eyes and limbs. It's also important that proper face, nose, and mouth protection be worn. Rather than just a simple mask that covers the nose and mouth, workers should wear a respirator with a filter that prevents the inhalation of particulate matter and any dangerous fibers in the air.

Additional precautions can be taken to prevent fiberglass particles from becoming airborne, such as dampening the area in which the fiberglass is being worked on.

How Our Construction Accident Attorneys Can Help

If you have suffered serious respiratory health issues related to fiberglass use or exposure, and it is related to poor safety practices at your workplace, our lawyers can help you hold negligent parties accountable. We will determine if you have a legitimate legal claim, and then help you collect damages for the medical expenses incurred. We will always offer expert legal counsel with your best interests in mind.

Learn More About Your Legal Options

If you or someone you love has been harmed from inhaling harmful substances in a work environment, contact our team of experienced injury and accident attorneys today. Our lawyers will fight for you every step of the way.

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