What’s the health situation like living in an exposed fiberglass insulation for 2 weeks


My attic floor is covered with fiberglass insulation. I go to the attic very often. Sorting out winter/summer clothes. Or I go up to search for stuff as my attic is a short term storage.

2 weeks ago, we had water damage up in the attic which softened the floor and the ceiling of my son's room. A quarter of the ceiling collapsed and exposed some of fiberglass insulation. To dry up the wetness, windows were opened all the time. I am worried that particles of the fiberglass are all spread out throughout the house, through the ventilation, and my family may have been inhaling it for too long (2 weeks).

My hubby had a severe nose bleed the other day which required him to seek urgent help. At the hospital, they found out his big vein had burst. The bleeding only stopped after his nose was cultured . Now I wonder if we have all accumulated a handful of fiberglass in our lungs. In particular I'm worried about my son's health in particular as he's only 14 years old. I have been having some pinching-like discomfort in my chest down to my abdomen and funny feeling in my mouth; a burning sensation.

I do not know if we should be at home while the ceiling will be ripped off… is it risky?

Insurance is carrying out the repairs. Anything else I have to be aware off?

Best Answer

Disclaimer that this is only my experiences with it

Fiberglass is mostly an irritant to your skin. Unlike it's far more dangerous cousin, asbestos, fiberglass is not something that is fatal if you're merely exposed (there are various mentions of it being a possible risk, but I've not seen anything saying X exposure raises your cancer risk by Y).

That all having been said, you don't want to breathe the stuff if you can help it. I had to unexpectedly work with some once and had a cough for a couple of days. I've tried to wear the simple respirator masks since. I put some fiberglass in my attic last summer and, with a respiration mask, I had no problems.

If I were you, I would not be at home until the ceiling drywall is replaced, and I would try to get that done first. Once the interior ceiling is enclosed, you should be good to clean out the house. The fibers are fairly large and most simple filtration can catch it. Change all your HVAC filters and invest in some respiration masks while you clean the place out. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and maybe clean your carpets as well.

Going into the attic isn't a risk, incidentally. Fiberglass is only risky when you're moving it around. If it's stationary, and has been for some time, it's fine.