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Australians face no health problems from exposure to fibreglass insulation

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FARIMA /FlBREGLAOe AMD M04KV/50L INSULATIONmanufacturers association of A ust in C.Mwfla Release 9 January 1995AUSTRALIANS FACE NO H E A L T H PRO BLEM S FROM f i b r e g l a s s T n s U l a t i o n^ o c c ic Subs b v v c i/ Australians face no health problems from exposure to fibreglass (glasswool) insulation under current conditions of manufacture and use according to the Fibreglass and Rockwool insulation Manufacturers Association (FARIMA).FARIMA's Executive Director Kevin Herbert said in Sydney today that newspaper reports highlighting the results of a recent LJ.S. study were yet another example of junk science misleading the Australian public in this issue.By way of background, FARIMA represents the interests of those companies who between them supply more than 80% of Australia's annual $200 million insulation market and between them employ nearly 5,500 Australians,"Simply put, the U.S. study authors’ views are at odds with the established views of Worksafe Australia, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO)."The study's authors have even managed to be at odds with those key U.S. government bodies charged with the hazard classification of fibreglass (glasswool), he said.Mr Herbert said the U.S. study's bona, tides were highly questionable because the study's results Involved no new scientific research but merely analysed existing research on which all government agencies internationally had decided already against classifying fibreglass (glasswool) as a carcinogen."For example, in 1894 the Canadian Government gave fibreglass (glasswool) Insulation the thumbs-up saying that fibres do not enter the environment In quantities or under conditions that may constitute a danger to human life and health.O n the local scene, a two year study of the respiratory health of Australian fibreglass (glasswool) manufacturing plant workers completed in 1993 found no evidence of work related lung disease."Finally it is well worth noting that In the sixty (60) years in which fibreglass (glasswool) batts have been used extensively in the housing industry there has not been a single serious health concern associated with them," Mr Herbert said.(ends)For further information please contact: Kevin HerbertPh: (w) (02) 956 5333(h) (02) 356 4471mr<0 L e v e l 12, 124 W a l k e r Street N o r t h Sydney NSW 2060 PH:(0«) 666 5333 F A X . (02) 959 4766