Potential hazards of insulation in your home

Insulation serves a purpose in residential homes. Typically housed in walls, ceilings, attics, and foundations, it keeps out the heat when it’s warm and maintains the heat when it is cold.

Today’s insulation comes in various forms, some tailored for particular areas of a home. While many types of modern brands have been linked to health-related issues, the presence of insulation in a home is considered relatively safe. Today’s dwellings are more tightly constructed and keep insulation completely separate from living spaces.

Past and potentially present dangers

Potential dangers emerged in the 1970s when the energy crisis introduced “more effective” insulation made of formaldehyde packed into homes. Amid health concerns, that type of so-called protection vanished from the market.

Ninety percent of homes in the United States have fiberglass insulation. In spite of the “popularity,” the substance used to manufacture it comes with potential health problems. Forced air heating systems with a leaking duct can spread fiberglass and potentially toxic fumes throughout a home without anyone being aware. Fiberglass can not only pierce and irritate the skin and eyes, but it can also enter the lungs. While the risks are not significant, those exposed to the substance can suffer from severe respiratory problems.

No insulation is entirely safe. Ongoing care and maintenance are key to keep gases and particles at bay. Should exposure result in serious medical problems, care from a doctor comes first. However, if negligence played a role, an experienced attorney can help get to the facts and hold negligent parties accountable.