Mythbusting insulation

We have been manufacturing and installing insulation in Australia and New Zealand for over 80 years and we are proud to be the trusted source of information. We often get questions from our customers which point to certain myths persisting and we'd like to bust those myths right here and now!

If you have a query which is not addressed on this page, or in our frequently asked questions, please do get in contact with us so we can answer your questions. We are here to help.

Myth: Glasswool is banned in other parts of the world

Insulation fact Fact: 100% incorrect. There are no countries in the world where glasswool insulation is banned. In fact, glasswool is the most common insulation used in residential and commercial buildings world-wide.

Leading international companies that manufacture glasswool insulation include Owens Corning, Johns Manville (part of Berkshire Hathaway), Isover Saint Gobain (the world's largest building material manufacturer) and Knauf.

Myth: Glasswool insulation causes cancer

Insulation fact Fact: Glasswool is safe to use and install and there are no known long term health problems associated with this product.

Glasswool building insulation has been in use around the world for over 50 years and is currently the most common form of building insulation used globally. Over that period of time it has been thoroughly researched and evaluated from the health, safety and environmental perspective, far more so than any other currently available building insulation.

The International Agency into Research of Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Heath Organisation, has investigated insulation products for many decades. This was partly because asbestos had been used as an insulation product in the early 1900's and they didn't want a replacement insulation product to have the same problems.

In 2002, IARC reclassified glasswool and rockwool insulation as “Category 3 – Not Classifiable as Carcinogenic to Humans”. Glasswool Insulation as manufactured and sold in New Zealand and Australia has continued to refine its products. Since 2000 all glasswool products manufactured and sold in New Zealand and Australia are recognised as biosoluble and not carcinogenic to humans.

More information: ICANZ

Myth: Glasswool contains formaldehyde which is dangerous

Insulation fact Fact: Formaldehyde is one of the most common, naturally occurring substances in our atmosphere and is present in all organic substances including plants, fish, animals and humans. The human body produces formaldehyde daily to metabolise food. It is true that constant exposure to high concentrations of formaldehyde can be dangerous and so the question should not be “does this product contain formaldehyde” but rather “does the amount of formaldehyde emitted and does the duration of exposure to this level of formaldehyde present any risk”?

Glasswool insulation products are made with organic binders and therefore contain trace amounts of free formaldehyde. However, the levels of free formaldehyde for Bradford insulation products have been measured and found to be very low. The New Zealand government has imposed exposure limits for formaldehyde to protect workers who handle products containing formaldehyde on a regular basis. The trace amounts of formaldehyde found in glasswool insulation used in residential and commercial buildings is many degrees of magnitudes below the exposure limits set by regulatory authorities.

We can confidently say, therefore, that in the case of glasswool insulation, the answer to the question of whether the level of formaldehyde is dangerous is emphatically NO.

More information: ICANZ

Myth: Insulation will make my home a hot box in summer

Insulation fact Fact: Bulk and reflective insulation in hot climates cause less heat to be absorbed into the home so you will stay cooler and be less reliant on air-conditioning in summer.

CSR Bradford has demonstrated the effectiveness of bulk and reflective insulation in hot climates, proving the home "hot box" theory wrong once and for all. Find out more in the recent Building Knowledge article.

We appreciate that insulation can be a technical subject. You have questions? We have answers.

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