I’m looking to get some acoustic panels of the rigid fibreglass/Rockwool type for my bedroom studio. I’ve read a few things online about possible dangers — in particular about respiratory issues (though I think carcinogenic impact was proven negative). Now, I know you wouldn’t use them if you thought there were a danger, but there’s a lot of guff online about potential issues. As my daughter has slight respiratory issues already, I definitely don’t want to make things worse. Can you offer me any advice on this?
SOS Forum post
SOS Technical Editor Hugh Robjohns replies: They’re not inherently carcinogenic, as far as I am aware, but loose fibres can certainly cause irritation. For that reason, mineral wool should always be covered with a breathable but tightly woven fabric that will prevent the release of fibres. If you’re making DIY panels, then spraying the mineral-wool slabs with a diluted PVA glue helps to keep fibre shedding down, and make sure you wear a mask while handling the stuff.
Commercial mineral-wool-based panels can smell unpleasant at first, due to the glues used, so I always unwrap them and leave in the garage for a week or so, to let the fishy glue smell dissipate before installation!