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Is it safe for me to be in an attic with this type of insulation without a mask? Insulation I have found myself coughing whilst laying floor boards and I’m not sure whether that is general dust or something to worry about? Thanks in advanced...

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  • To be honest, I have no idea... I do know that this house was only built around 4-5 years ago however. Thanks for your comment :)
    – M Vallance
    Mar 21, 2020 at 15:22

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Generally, it's safe to be in an attic with fiberglass insulation without a mask. Is it a good idea? No. It can get into your lungs and cause the coughing you're experiencing and can also irritate your throat. the coughing you're experiencing is probably a combination of the fiberglass and the dust that settles from the venting of the attic. Do yourself a favor and wear a mask.

@Chris Rodgers mentions about how much stuff adheres to a mask after just a short while and that reminded me of a photo I took last year after being in my attic for about an hour installing a whole house fan.

enter image description here

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    I’ll go out and see if I can find one in the hardware store then! Thanks Jack.
    – M Vallance
    Mar 21, 2020 at 15:24
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    @MVallance in general, that's a great idea. With the current COVID-19 panic, masks are tough to find. For your purposes and for short-term exposure to dust and fiberglass fragments, you can likely get away with using some sort of bandana type arrangement. You're trying to keep dust out, not viruses.
    – FreeMan
    Mar 21, 2020 at 20:05
  • Yea, there was none in the hardware store... ridiculous... I ended up using a micro fibre cloth attached to my glasses! Not sure how effective this actually is, but I guess it’s better than nothing!
    – M Vallance
    Mar 21, 2020 at 20:20
  • T-shirt ninja mask is easy to make and should work pretty well for the larger particles. Also shields skin!
    – jpa
    Mar 22, 2020 at 5:24
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As @JACK points out, do yourself a favour and wear a mask.

Small particles of the insulation along with dust can be flying around and that will get worse whilst moving about in the loft/attic space. When wearing a mask you will be surprised how much is stuck to the filter or mask itself after a short while and that will be in your lungs and throat without it.

If the material is rock wool, otherwise known as mineral wool, it can potentially cause lung problems

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    No particle is great to breath. Saw dust is carcinogenic. Fiberglass has issues too including "Bronchiolitis obliterans. Styrene is a toxic chemical used as a resin in the production and installation of fiberglass. Construction workers exposed to styrene are at risk of developing bronchiolitis obliterans, a rare disease in which the walls of the smallest airways thicken and become obliterated. This is a devastating lung disease with no known cure other than lung transplantation." Mar 21, 2020 at 16:37

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