As you already know, insulation is an integral element of your home. Insulation keeps the heat outside in warm climates, and inside in cold climates. Insulation is needed in places like your walls and ceilings (inside), attic spaces, and a lot more. Insulation is needed at many parts of your home so it being safe for you and everyone living in your home should be a major concern.
Before we talk about whether your home insulation is hazardous to your health or not, it's important to note that there are different types of insulation and their differences matter for this topic.
Loose-fill and blown-in insulation comes in several forms. Some can simply be poured out of a bag, while others are blown through a special machine, and then through an applicator hose. Cellulose and chopped fiberglass are the most common types of loose fill and blown in insulation.
Fiberglass insulation comprises nearly 90% of the US market for home insulation. Fiberglass insulation, however, poses many health risks. Imagine what happens when a window is broken: the glass is extremely sharp and is very dangerous. Fiberglass insulation has the same effect on our lungs, skin, and eyes. The area exposed to fiberglass becomes itchy and irritated. If these small particles of glass become lodged in the lungs, serious respiratory conditions may result(Green Build). While there are risks to those who inhabit homes with fiberglass insulation, the most at risk are those who install, work near, or handle the insulation (You're Welcome!)
Cellulose insulation is largely made from post-consumer recycled newspaper. It is a very popular product today. Because newspaper is naturally combustible; cellulose insulation can be eaten by insects, fungi, or bacteria; and can be used as nesting material for rodents, This means that the insulation must be chemically treated, thus resulting in approximately 20% of the final product consisting of chemicals.
From a health standpoint, the various chemical additives can cause reactions in certain sensitive occupants. Symptoms vary greatly depending on the individual exposed. Because cellulose insulation is finely ground and powdery, it can filter through very small openings into the living space.