Environmental considerations

Most cellulose insulation is approximately 80 percent postcon­sumer recycled newspaper by weight. The remaining 20 percent is comprised of fire-retardant chemicals and/or acrylic binders depending on the product. In 1994 alone, the cellulose industry used approximately 840 million lb of recycled newspaper. Experts suggest that if all new home construction in the United States were insulated with cellulose, over 3.2 million tons of waste newsprint would be used each year.4

According to the Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association (СІМА), cellulose has a very low comparative embodied energy, cal­culated to be 20 to 40 times less than mineral fiber insulations. (Embodied energy is the total energy, such as the fuels, electric power, transportation, and job-site power, used to extract, fabri­cate, package, transport, install, and commission a building prod­uct, material, or system.)