The Dangers of Fiberglass on Construction Sites
Fiberglass, an effective insulation material that slows the spread of cold, heat, and noise, is widely used in the construction industry. Research over 25 years confirms that fiberglass is known to cause respiratory problems, yet many construction workers are still exposed to synthetic fibers. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the fabrication of fiberglass can produce emissions of toxic air pollutants, including styrene.
Fiberglass may look fluffy and harmless, but looks are deceiving. When fiberglass is trimmed, sanded, or sawed, construction workers may touch or inhale the resulting dust.
- These tiny dust particles become lodged in skin pores and cause irritation, itchiness, and rashes.
- Airborne fiberglass particles may become lodged in the eyeball, under the eyelid, or in the corners of the eye, causing painful irritation.
- When inhaled, these particles can cause irritation of the throat, nasal passages, and mouth, as well as coughing, nosebleeds, and other respiratory problems.
- Fumes from the resins used during fiberglass installation may cause respiratory ailments such as wheezing and shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, and nausea.
Fiberglass Exposure Illnesses
Very fine airborne fiberglass particles can become deeply lodged in the lungs, causing serious illnesses including:
Asthma. Regular exposure to fiberglass insulation can worsen a construction worker’s asthma over time. Inhalation of fiberglass dust can even trigger asthmatic episodes.
Bronchiolitis obliterans. Styrene is a toxic chemical used as a resin in the production and installation of fiberglass. Construction workers exposed to styrene are at risk of developing bronchiolitis obliterans, a rare disease in which the walls of the smallest airways thicken and become obliterated. This is a devastating lung disease with no known cure other than lung transplantation.
If you’ve developed health problems due to fiberglass exposure at work, you deserve compensation. You need representation by an experienced attorney in order to protect your rights. To learn more about what the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., can do for you, visit us on Facebook.