Glass wool. Is it dangerous? - diyAudio
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Old 18th March 2005, 08:46 PM   #1
sachi is offline sachi  United States
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Default Glass wool. Is it dangerous?

hi, i just noticed that my friend's old speakers are filled with damping materail which looks and feels like glass wool. is it dangerous to my health by being exposed to it. i have asthma and am really concerned.
regards,
Sachi
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Old 18th March 2005, 09:06 PM   #2
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Glass wool is known to be an irritant to the throat & lungs, and who knows about the long term health effects. Why take the risk? I never use it.
I recommend replacing with polyfill (use breathing mask).
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Old 19th March 2005, 07:31 AM   #3
Ron E is offline Ron E  United States
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The only reason to worry about glass wool is if you are moving it around a lot and making dust and breaking off pieces, etc. If it is sitting in your enclosure, it is no hazard at all. IF it worries you, there would be no harm in covering it with some cloth....but any touching of it is likely to cause more of what you are worried about than leaving it alone

Glass wool is not like asbestos - its fibers are orders of magnitude larger and it doesn't fly around and stay in the air for long periods......
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Old 19th March 2005, 07:41 AM   #4
sachi is offline sachi  United States
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the speakers are kind of 30 years old(maybe more). the build quality of the enclosure is excellent. the drivers are onkyo(hokutone). i'm planning to remove the driver and construct a new baffle with new speakers.

i think i will remove the glass wool and throw it out. the internal volume is around 1.2 cubic feet.
the cabinet is made entirely of teak(real teak). it is mainly a monitor kind of speaker with the dimensions 20.5X8.6X11.65(HXDXW). this is the internal dimensions. the cabinets themselves without the baffle are around 15-17 kgs.
let meknow ur thoughts on whether i should go about building a sealed or ported for a box with these dimensions(in its present form it is sealed and not ported).also should i go for a 3way or a 2 way.
Sachi

BTW thanks fo rthe input . i'll stay away from it.
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Old 19th March 2005, 09:55 AM   #5
Ropie is offline Ropie  United Kingdom
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Have a look at this page:

http://www.acc.co.nz/injury-preventi...ls/fibreglass/

Fibre glass / Glass wool is mainly used as an insulation material in buildings. It is only a health hazard whilst it is being handled or moved so take the advice of that website. Trust me, I'm an architect
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Old 19th March 2005, 11:08 AM   #6
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Glass wool is reported to be carcinogenic - causing cancer.
I am not sure if that refers to problems on the skin due to mechanical handling or due to inhalation of the fine particles.

Handling it with bare hands will cause some of the glass wool to penetrate the skin and break off. It leads to itching and is very hard to get rid off . Better to use rubber gloves - the thick variety.
I've used it and dislike it intensely.
Don't work on it with the fan on in any room. It blows the particles all over the place.
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Old 19th March 2005, 11:30 AM   #7
sachi is offline sachi  United States
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thanks guys. will get rid of the glass wool immediately. in fact i did have it under the fan(i know i am an idiot ).
ropie, seems like a lot of work just to handle the damn thing.
thanks again.
Sachi
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Old 19th March 2005, 12:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by ashok
Glass wool is reported to be carcinogenic - causing cancer.
glass wool is "reaonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" (so is alcoholic beverage consumption!).

http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/ele...s/s091glas.pdf
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Old 19th March 2005, 12:56 PM   #9
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the wool you're speaking of IS dangerous.
The surrounding air is, of course, shaked a lot by the speaker driver and so some dangerous dust is made...
but if the enclosure is good sealed the problem is not as big as with vented ones.
You may consider assuring good seal adding some silicone from outside.
If you want to do a good work, you can take out the drivers and put them in a new identical enclosure filled with some other damping material. Be aware not to make the problem worse: when you work on the enclosures, try to move the least things you can in order not to mess around with the wool... take out drivers and crossover and throw away the rest in plastic bag.
and let the drivers run a bit outdoor before playing with them so they can wash out the dust particles. The crossover board can usually be quickly washed in water without damage.
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Old 19th March 2005, 02:04 PM   #10
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David, glass fibre insulation not that bad. You may be getting confused with asbestos. Just wear a paper dust mask and gloves whilst handling and you will be fine. The dust produced as the fibres break isn't even that small, and will settle out of the air very quickly.
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