DS fiberglass is noncombustible, as determined by tests based on ASTM E136.
General work practices applicable to all work involving synthetic vitreous fibers (SVFs) such as fiberglass (rock wool and slag wool) have been established by the U. S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Excerpts of the guidelines are as follows10:
1. Minimize dust generation.
■ Keep the material in its packaging as long as practicable and if possible.
■ Tools that generate the least amount of dust should be used. If power tools are to be used, they should be equipped with appropriate dust collection systems as necessary.
■ Keep work areas clean and free of scrap SVF material.
■ Do not use compressed air for cleanup unless there is no other effective method. If compressed air must be used, proper procedures and control measures must be implemented. Other workers in the immediate area must be removed or similarly protected.
■ Where repair or maintenance of equipment that is either insulated with SVF or covered with settled SVF dust is necessary, clean the equipment first with a HEPA vacuum or equivalent (where possible), or wipe the surface clean with a wet rag to remove excess dust and loose fibers. If compressed air must be used, proper procedures and control measures must be implemented. Other workers in the immediate area must be removed or similarly protected.
■ Avoid unnecessary handling of scrap materials by placing them in waste disposal containers and by keeping equipment as close to working areas as possible, which prevents release of fibers.
■ Unless other proper procedures and control measures have been implemented, dust-collection systems should be used in manufacturing and fabrication settings where appropriate and feasible.
■ Exhausted air containing SVFs should be filtered prior to recirculation into interior workspaces.
■ If ventilation systems are used to capture SVFs, they should be checked and maintained regularly.
3. Wear appropriate clothing.
■ Loose-fitting, long-sleeved, and long-legged clothing is recommended to prevent irritation. A head cover is also recommended, especially when working with material overhead. Gloves are also recommended. Skin irritation cannot occur if there is no contact with the skin. Do not tape sleeves or pants at wrists or ankles.
■ Remove SVF dust from the work clothes before leaving work, to reduce potential for skin irritation.
4. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment.
■ To minimize upper respiratory tract irritation, measures should be taken to control the exposure. Such measures will be dictated by the work environment and may include appropriate respiratory protective equipment. See OSHAs respiratory protection standard.
■ When appropriate, eye protection should be worn whenever SVF products are being handled.
■ Personal protective equipment should be fitted properly and worn when required.
5. Removal of fibers from the skin and eyes.
■ If fibers accumulate on the skin, do not rub or scratch. Never remove fibers from the skin by blowing with compressed air.
■ If fibers are seen penetrating the skin, they may be removed by applying and then removing adhesive tape so that the fibers adhere to the tape and are pulled out of the skin.
■ SVFs may be deposited in the eye. If this should happen, do not rub the eyes. Flush them with water or eyewash solution (if available). Consult a physician if the irritation persists.
The following work also typically should be performed in order to
properly prepare the job site prior to installation:
1. Examine all surfaces and conditions to which the insulation is to be applied. Ensure that they are adequate to provide a satisfactory application of the specified materials.
2. Provide adequate protection to adjacent surfaces by means of drop cloths or polyethylene sheets.
3. Close off and seal any duct work in areas where sprayed insulation is being applied.
4. Clean off any dust, loose dirt, foreign material, etc. on surfaces to which the insulation is to be applied, which could otherwise create a false bond.