Attic Insulation Dangers


If you have an attic in your home, then the odds are good that you also have attic insulation. You probably aren't aware of the dangers associated with this insulation. These dangers are often connected to the age of the insulation as well as the type.


  • Asbestos was once used in insulation because it was resistant to fire and locked in heat, but then manufacturers realized that it also caused certain health problems. This type of insulation is still found in many older homes. The asbestos itself is made of small fibers, bundled together. When inhaled, the fibers affect the lungs by scratching the sides. Cancer and Asbestosis, which is a condition that causes irritations and scars on the lung tissue, are caused by asbestos insulation.


  • Zonolite was a type of material used by the Grace Company in attic insulation until the 1980s. The product looked like small pieces of puffed up cereal, less than half an inch and made of small crystals. When the Zonolite breaks down, it can be inhaled by you or your family. When this occurs, it irritates the lungs and causes certain respiratory problems such as asthma or difficulty in breathing. It's worth noting that until it breaks down, the material doesn't cause any problems.


  • If you live in a humid area, you should realize that mold is a potential danger in your attic. Mold grows in attic insulation when dust gets caught in the material and then fosters in a humid climate. The growing mold can spread to other areas of the house and damage the structure of your home by slowly eating away at the wood areas. Mold can also cause health problems, particularly a strain known as black mold. This often happens when the airborne particles are inhaled.

Foamular Insulation

  • Foamular insulation is a type of insulation designed to hide behind a layer of drywall and foam board, but it's also not recommended for homes, though it is found in some. If you have this type of insulation in your home, removal is your best choice. In a fire, the insulation is extremely flammable and spreads a toxic smoke through your home. The insulation can even catch on fire when it comes into contact with extreme heat.

Fiberglass Insulation

  • Fiberglass insulation is one of the most common types of attic insulation, but that doesn't mean it's completely safe. The insulation was used for years before scientists discovered certain health problems caused by it. Scientists discovered that many manufacturers use a formaldehyde binder to hold the fiberglass pieces together. As the insulation breaks down, you inhale both the formaldehyde and the fibers into your lungs, which can cause respiratory problems and even cancer.

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