Safety and Health Concerns (Loose-fill insulation)

Safety Guidelines

Insulation blown into your ceiling cavities should cover the top plate of the wall, but be sure the eave vents are not covered. These vents provide necessary ventilation to your attic, and covering them could result in severe . Electrical devices and recessed lights (except “IC-rated” fixtures) require 3 inches (8 centimeters) of clearance from insulation. Pipes for kitchen stoves, wood stoves, and furnaces should only be insulated with fiberglass or rock wool because cellulose may smolder if temperatures become hot enough.

Health Considerations

Some observers contend that fiberglass particles can cause cancer if inhaled, and others state that the fire retardants and insecticides added to cellulose may be harmful to breathe. While the debate continues as to the health effects of loose-fill insulations, it is important to protect yourself when installing anytype of insulation. Wear a quality respirator, and wear protective eyewear and clothing such as goggles, gloves, long-sleeved shirts, and pants to minimize contact with the insulation. Insulation fibers can also be drawn into air distribution systems if the ducts are not properly sealed, allowing the fibers to circulate within the living space. Be sure to seal all of your home's ductwork, as well as any other openings where insulation could leak out of the wall or ceiling cavities and into your living space.


Cellulose, fiberglass, and rock wool loosefill insulations are good choices for many insulation projects. However, they are not suitable for all situations. Conduct careful and consider factors such as your climate, building , and when selecting the best insulation for your specific circumstances. If you control air leakage and ensure that the insulation you select is installed properly, you can reduce your energy bills and enjoy a more comfortable home.