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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: Fibrous Glass; Fiberglass; Glass fibers; Glass wool [Note: Usually produced from borosilicate & low alkali silicate glasses.]

OSHA IMIS Code Number: 1300

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 65997-17-3 (Fibrous Glass)

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: LK3651000

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Fibrous glass dust: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):

Maritime: 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards -- 15 mg/m3 TWA (PEL listed under Fibrous Glass)

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 3 fibers/cm3 TWA (fibers with diameter ≤ 3.5 µm & length ≥ 10 µm.); 5 mg/m3 TWA (total fibrous glass)

Health Factors

Carcinogenic Classification:

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC): Group 3, not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans [43 KB PDF, 11 pages]

National Toxicology Program (NTP): Reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen (Certain Glass Wool Fibers (Inhalable)) [208 KB PDF, 8 pages]

Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, skin, nose, throat; dyspnea (breathing difficulty); sore throat, hoarseness, cough

Health Effects: Irritation-Eye, Nose, Throat, Skin---Moderate (HE15)

Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system

Literature Basis:

  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Fibrous glass dust.
  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Glass Wool.
  • No Author: Certain Glass Wool Fibers (Inhalable) [208 KB PDF, 8 pages], Report on Carcinogens (latest edition), US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Toxicology Program.
  • Baan, R.A. and Grosse, Y.: Man-made mineral (vitreous) fibres: evaluations of cancer hazards by the IARC monographs programme. Mutat. Res. 553(1-2): 43-58, 2004.
  • Berrigan, D.: Respiratory cancer and exposure to man-made vitreous fibers: a systematic review. Am. J. Ind. Med. 42(4): 354-362, 2002.
  • Huff, J.: IARC monographs, industry influence, and upgrading, downgrading, and under-grading chemicals: a personal point of view. International Agency for Research on Cancer. Int. J. Occup. Environ. Health 8(3): 249-270, 2002.
  • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Fibrous Glass. Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 1. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 1153-1155.
  • Wardenbach, P., Rodelsperter, K., Roller, M. and Muhle, H.: Classification of man-made vitreous fibers: comments on the revaluation by an IARC working group. Regul. Toxicol. Pharmacol. 43(2): 181-193, 2005.

Date Last Revised: 10/14/2005

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):

  • sampling media: tared 37-mm diameter low-ash polyvinyl chloride filter
    maximum volume: 960 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 2.0 L/min
    current analytical method: Gravimetric
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA PV2121)
    method classification: Partially Validated
    note: OSHA personnel can obtain tared sampling media from the Salt Lake Technical Center.
    note: If the net weight of the sample yields a concentration below the standard for the substance, the Salt Lake Technical Center will perform no further work on that sample. If the net weight corresponds to an amount greater than the standard, the sample may be analyzed for the appropriate element and the result reported as the substance.

  • sampling media: Mixed Cellulose ester filter cassette, with cowl, 0.8 micron pore size (asbestos monitor)
    maximum volume: 2400 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 5.0 L/min
    current analytical method:
    method reference: NIOSH Analytical Method (NIOSH 7400 "B" rules (fiber count) [948 KB PDF, 15 pages])
    method classification: Fully Validated
    note: Fiber count is per the Health and Safety Partnership Program (HSPP) agreement with the North American Insulation Manufacturers' Association, (NAIMA. Signed 18 May 1999), fibrous glass should be analyzed using NIOSH Method 7400 "B" rules. However, it is technically listed as a substance for which the PEL is 15mg/cubic meter total dust and 5 mg/cubic meter respirable dust.

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