Fiberglass is highly common in not only homes and schools, but it can also be found in consumer items like toothpaste and certain medications. Beyond that, it could occupy the air you breathe. And thanks to one report that asserts the safety of the substance — which a leading organization is now calling fraudulent and outright wrong — fiberglass is still being used on a major scale.
Fiberglass was nominated as a leading safety issue on the synthetic mineral fiber list for the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) back in 1994. It was even documented as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” by the National Institutes of Health in its 2011 “Report on Carcinogens.” So why is it still so prominent in your daily life? One final report by the NIH dismissed all of the previous findings and concerns, saying that there was “no evidence of carcinogenicity” surrounding fiberglass.
A curious result, as the previous evidence had already suggested a link between fiberglass and cancer – a result that the National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA), a major organization in the fight for toxin-free air, says is based on faulty information. The group asserts that the formula the EPA and NIH examined to determine whether or not fiberglass poses a cancer risk was seriously diluted, making fiberglass appear to be safe. The result is the OSHA listing fiberglass as ‘safe’ for workers, and allowing them heavy exposure on a daily basis.
According to the agency in their report:
In assessing the cancer risks related to the source category, EPA used long-term concentrations affecting the most highly exposed census block for each facility. This analysis dilutes the effect of sources’ emissions by estimating the impact at the centroid of the census block instead of at the property line or wherever the maximum exposed individual is.
The information is particularly concerning for workers who may be handling fiberglass products on a daily basis, and are unaware of the associated risks. With the call by the NACAA to government agencies to re-examine the skewed results regarding cancer-linked fiberglass, some serious changes may soon come about that the OSHA is forced to pick up on.