Cellulose insulation has been exposed to a broad range of construction, environmental, and various code requirements that have called for a more elaborate definition of physical properties. These requirements have been identified and met in the following federal regulations, federal procurement specifications, and industry standards4:
16 CFR Part 1209 (The CPSC Safety Standard). This is the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) safety standard that covers four product attributes: settled density, corrosiveness, critical radiant flux (a measure of surface burning), and smoldering combustion. It is illegal to market cellulose insulation that does not conform with this section of the Code of Federal Regulations.
16 CFR Part 460 (The FTC R-Value Rule)
ASTM C-739 [Standard Specification for Cellulosic Fiber (Wood – Base) Loose-Fill Thermal insulation]. This is the industry standard for loose-fill cellulose insulation. It covers all the factors of the CPSC regulation and five additional characteristics: R-value, starch content, moisture absorption, odor, and resistance to fungus growth.
ASTM C-1149 (Standard Specification for Self-Supported Spray Applied Cellulosic Thermal /Acoustical Insulation)
HH-I-515E (The General Services Administration Purchasing Specification for Loose-Fill Cellulose Insulation; requires ASTM C-739 conformance)
The states of California and Minnesota have their own insulation regulations that are based on the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards and, in the case of cellulose insulation, on the CPSC standard. Of course, the insulation requirements of all pertinent building codes also apply to the installation of cellulose. Building codes are required by the Consumer Products Safety Act to follow the CPSC standard. Thus cellulose insulation conforming with the federal standard is approved for installation in any code jurisdiction.4
Loose-fill cellulose insulation, like all loose-fill insulation, should be installed in accordance with ASTM Standard C-1015, “Standard Practice for Installation of Cellulosic and Mineral Fiber Loose-Fill Thermal Insulation.”