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MISLEADING CLAIMS PLACE NEARLY 4,000 CALIFORNIA JOBS AT RISK

 MISLEADING CLAIMS PLACE NEARLY 4,000 CALIFORNIA JOBS AT RISK
 LOS ANGELES, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) said today that legislation to ban fiber glass insulation in the state is based on misleading use of science and, in fact, is supported by competing interests in the multi- billion dollar insulation industry. The measure would place nearly 4,000 jobs at risk, as well as jeopardizing $106 million in payroll, and nearly $4.3 million in tax revenues from fiber glass plants in California.
 "The proposed bill has no basis in scientific facts," said Ken Mentzer, executive vice president of NAIMA. "Fiber glass insulation is safe to manufacture, install and use when manufacturers recommended work practices are followed. This position is supported by more than 50 years of scientific research and reviews by such distinguished bodies as the World Health Organization, the International Labor Organization, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency," said Mentzer.
 Assembly Bill 2219 would result in a product ban. The measure, to be heard by the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee on Wednesday, is opposed by labor unions such as the International Union of Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics & Allied Workers as well as the California AFL-CIO.
 "You have to stop a minute and ask: When legislation before the Labor Committee is strongly opposed by labor unions, who's for it?" asked Mentzer. "According to a recent story in a trade publication, Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, the Cellulose Marketing Council, which represents the commercial interests of the cellulose insulation industry, has sponsored AB 2219," said Mentzer.
 The Cellulose Marketing Council has been led for years by Richard Munson. Munson also is the founder and chairman of an organization he calls Victims of Fiberglass (VOF), a Meadow Vista, Calif.-based organization which disseminates misleading and inaccurate information about alleged health aspects of fiber glass. In June 1991, Munson mailed a VOF fundraising letter to his supporters explaining that, "all VOF has to offer in return for your support is your having a better chance to compete in the $2 billion dollar insulation market."
 "I believe that Mr. Munson has done a disservice to the Labor Committee through his misleading advocacy campaign," said Mentzer. "He is misusing science and the legislative process to advance his personal agenda."
 Last month, Munson mailed another fundraising letter to his supporters which further detailed his enthusiastic support for AB 2219. In the letter, Munson claimed that, "VOF will be flying in a very famous doctor (MD. DPH) from Europe to testify at the hearing.
 "This nonsense has the potential to unduly alarm millions of Californians," said Dr. Frank J. Rauscher, a former director of the National Cancer Institute and currently executive director of TIMA, the industry's research arm. "In my 35 years of reviewing research that determines possible links between products and cancer, I have never known a product to be so thoroughly tested and consistently fail to cause cancer in humans.
 Dr. Rauscher's view is consistent with scientific reviews performed by:
 -- The Division of Occupational Safety and Health, California Department of Industrial Relations (CAL-OSHA); "Fibrous Glass is a mechanical irritant. There is no present scientific evidence as to the existence of any other adverse health effect." (1991)
 -- The International Program on Chemical Safety (IPCS), a unit of the World Health Organization of the United Nations (WHO); "The overall picture indicates that the possible risk of lung cancer among the general public is very low, if there is any at all, and should not be a cause for concern if the current low levels of exposure continue." (1988)
 -- The International Labor Organization (ILO); "Perceived or actual health risks of exposure to MMF (fiber glass) were 'minimal' and 'exaggerated' when used as recommended." (1989)
 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); "The casual relationship between fibrous glass exposure and the development of respiratory cancer is...not considered credible at this time. The weight of evidence of carcinogenicity of fibrous glass...from studies in humans is considered inadequate." (1988)
 NAIMA is a trade association of North American manufacturers of fiber glass, rock wool, and slag wool insulation products. NAIMA's role is to promote energy efficiency and environmental preservation through the use of fiber glass, rock wool, and slag wool insulation products and to encourage safe production and use of insulation products.
 NAIMA member companies that manufacture fiber glass include:
 CertainTeed Corporation
 Knauf Fiber Glass
 Manville Sales Corporation
 Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation
 Western Fiberglass, Incorporated
 To receive more information from NAIMA, or to receive a media briefing from NAIMA, please contact Jim Finn at 310-444-7000.
 The Facts on Fiberglass
 Fiber glass has been commercially manufactured and marketed for nearly 50 years. During this time, it has become one of the world's most useful and beneficial man-made materials.
 Over the decades, fiber glass manufacturing has evolved into a large and diverse industry as more and more uses have been discovered for the product. Today, the manufacture and use of fiber glass is an important component of the nation's economy, providing an energy-conserving product which reduces pollution and helps the environment.
 Characteristics of Fiber Glass
 Fiber glass is categorized within a group of man-made materials historically referred to as man-made mineral fibers; however, a more appropriate name is man-made vitreous fibers (MMVFs). Vitreous means the substance is glassy and noncrystalline in nature.
 Glass fibers are made from molten masses of raw materials under highly controlled conditions. Fiber glass will not burn, rot or absorb moisture or odors. It will not support the growth of mildew, mold or bacteria.
 Fiber glass can absorb sound, help control heat flow, remove impurities from liquids and gases, reinforce other materials and, with a vapor barrier, help control condensation. These characteristics have made it one of the world's most useful man-made materials.
 Types of Fiber Glass
 While it has numerous uses and applications, fiber glass is generally supplied in two basic forms:
 -- Wool-type fibers, referred to most commonly as glass wool or fiber glass insulation; and
 -- Textile fibers, produced in long, continuous strands or filaments.
 Major Uses of Fiber Glass
 An important application of wool-type fiber glass is as insulation which is used primarily to control temperature and sound in homes, commercial buildings and industrial operations. Wool-type fibers are also used to manufacture a variety of sound-control products, air and liquid filters; and as insulation for air ducts, pipes, roofs, walls, floors, automobiles, mobile homes, aircraft, refrigerators, domestic cooking appliances and a wide variety of other appliances and equipment.
 The textile form of fiber glass is used to reinforce a wide variety of textile, plastic and rubber products.
 This brochure discusses wool-type fiber glass.
 Benefits of Fiber Glass Insulation
 Fiber glass insulation plays a significant energy-savings and efficiency role in the United States and other nations by reducing energy use and helping to reduce heating and cooling costs in homes and offices. The use of fiber glass insulation currently saves the U.S. the equivalent of four billion barrels of oil yearly -- or more than 3,000 supertanker loads. Insulation also helps protect the environment by reducing the need to burn fossil fuels.
 Manufacturing Fiber Glass Insulation
 Fiber glass insulation is produced primarily through a rotary process, similar to that used for making cotton candy. Molten glass is poured into a rapidly spinning disc that has thousands of fine holes in its rim. Centrifugal force slings the molten glass through these holes, creating glass fibers.
 The fibers are made thinner by jets of air or steam (or occasionally flame). Generally, they are then coated immediately with a binder, collected, cured in ovens and formed into the familiar insulation batts or blankets or chopped into loose-fill insulation used in homes and commercial buildings. Other manufacturing procedures are used to make special-purpose fibers, which are discussed below.
 Due to the nature of this manufacturing process, the individual glass fibers within the insulation products vary in their thickness -- or diameter. Most are about two to nine microns in diameter. (A micron equals about 1/1,000,000 of a yard, or 1/24,500 of an inch. By comparison, a human red blood cell has a diameter of about seven microns and a human hair, about 70 microns.) The fibers are generally several centimeters -- or more than an inch -- in length. When viewed under a microscope, glass fibers resemble single rods. When these fibers break, they break across their long axis, resulting in shorter fibers of the same diameter. They do not split lengthwise into smaller diameter fibers.
 Special-Purpose Fine Fibers
 Glass fibers can also be produced with average diameters of less than one micron. These extremely fine-diameter fiber glass products are called special-purpose fine fibers and are produced in very limited quantity for a small range of important products in the United States, such as components of batteries, specialty filter papers, filter media, replaceable cartridges and aerospace insulation. They comprise less than one percent of total U.S. fiber glass production by weight.
 Recommended Work Practices
 There are a number of recommended work practices that should be followed for consumers installing or using insulation at home and for workers whose jobs involve installing, fabricating or handling these products.
 The position of NAIMA members that manufacture fiber glass is clear: Fiber glass is safe to manufacture, install and use when recommended work practices are followed. Work practices and exposure guidelines vary among manufacturers. Consult your NAIMA member company's Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and other company literature for appropriate recommendations.
 The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is currently reviewing fiber glass to establish a workplace Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL). NAIMA is working with OSHA to examine all health- related research on fiber glass. In the meantime, NAIMA's board of directors has recommended that OSHA adopt a one fiber per cubic centimeter (1 f/cc) PEL. This recommendation is based on grounds of prudence and not significant risk.
 Among the recommended work practices from NAIMA member companies are:
 Use respirators when appropriate. Consult individual manufacturers for specific recommendations on the type and use of respirators. It is important that respirators be used properly. In industrial situations, an appropriate training and fit-testing program must be incorporated into a respiratory-protection program.
 Wear loose clothing. Wear long-sleeved shirts that are loose at the neck and wrists, along with caps and long pants, to help protect sensitive skin areas from coming into contact with glass fibers. Loose clothing helps prevent the fibers from rubbing against the skin. Depending upon the job conditions, gloves may also be necessary.
 Protect your eyes. Wear safety glasses with side shields, goggles or a face shield whenever handling or using fiber glass materials.
 Don't rub or scratch your skin. If fiber glass particles and fibers accumulate on your exposed skin, don't rub or scratch that area. Remove the particles by washing your skin thoroughly but gently with warm water and mild soap. Using a skin cream or lotion after washing may also help.
 Wash your work clothing separately. Wash clothing that has been worn while handling or using fiber glass separately from other household laundry. This will prevent fibers from being transferred to other clothes. Rinse your washing machine thoroughly before using it again. If there are a lot of fibers on clothes, it is best to pre-soak and rinse the garments prior to washing.
 Keep your work area clean. Avoid unnecessary handling of scrap fiber glass materials by keeping waste-disposal equipment as close to the working area as possible. Don't let scrap material or debris pile up on the floor or other areas. Do not use a compressed air line to clean the work area -- it generates airborne dust and stirs fibers. Use a filtered vacuum or wet sweeping technique. Follow an organized housekeeping program at all times.
 Prevent airborne dust. Dust collection systems should be used whenever fiber glass exposures may exceed recommended levels. In particular, workers engaged in operations such as sawing, machining and/or blowing fiber glass have a greater potential for high exposures.
 Skin and Eye Irritation
 Fiber glass may irritate the skin of some workers in fiber glass manufacturing plants as well as some people working with or using materials that contain fiber glass.
 This irritation is a mechanical reaction of the skin to the ends of fibers that have rubbed against or become embedded in the skin's outer layer. Generally, the larger the fiber, the more likely it is to cause skin irritation. Extremely fine diameter fibers usually don't cause this irritation.
 Any skin irritation caused by fiber glass is temporary. It can be relieved by washing the exposed skin gently with warm water and mild soap.
 Some people may be more sensitive to the mechanical irritation caused by fiber glass than others. The vast majority of workers and average consumers, however, can control skin irritation by following recommended work practices.
 Irritation of the eye is not common. However, fiber glass may get deposited in the eye by the user's fingers or through fibers in the air. If this should happen, do not rub the eye. Rinse with warm water, and consult a doctor if irritation persists.
 Upper Respiratory Irritation
 If recommended work practices, as described above and detailed in each company's MSDS and other literature, are not followed, some workers may experience temporary upper respiratory irritation if large amounts of fiber glass are released into the air during its manufacture or handling.
 Like skin irritation, upper respiratory irritation is a mechanical reaction to the fibers. It is not an allergic reaction, and the irritation should not persist.
 Such exposures to high concentrations of airborne fiber glass may result in temporary coughing or wheezing. These effects will subside after the worker is removed from exposure and should have no further impact on his or her health and well being.
 Careful attention to housekeeping and recommended work practices, including the use of approved respiratory protection when necessary, can effectively control exposure to concentrations of airborne fibers and upper-respiratory irritation.
 Health and Safety Effects
 Health and safety research on fiber glass has been ongoing for nearly 50 years. Since 1987, three major, well publicized review reports have been issued on these effects. The first of these was issued by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC Monograph on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, MMVFs, and Radon; France, 1988). IARC met on fiber glass in 1987. Other reviews have been undertaken by: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA, "Health Hazard Assessment of Non-Asbestos Fibers," final draft 12/30/88.); the International Labor Organization (ILO); and the International Program on Chemical Safety (IPCS, "Environmental Health Criteria," 1977; World Health Organization, "Man Made Mineral Fibers," 1988). These reviews confirm that inhalation of glass fibers has not induced significant disease in animals.
 Each of these reviews also examined epidemiological studies and concluded that there is no evidence which establishes an association between fiber glass and cancer in occupational workers. They also reviewed the many animal inhalation studies of fibrous glass and found no evidence of lung scarring or cancer in the exposed animals.
 IARC, EPA, OSHA and others continue to review the health and safety aspects of this product. Any final actions of these agencies will be communicated as soon as they are known.
 The IARC review also evaluated animal studies in which large amounts of fiber glass were artificially and surgically implanted in the chest and abdominal cavities of laboratory animals. Since some glass fibers inserted in this fashion caused tumors in some of the animals, IARC classified fiber glass as a 2B, or possible human carcinogen. (IARC has two more severe rating categories: "probable carcinogen" and "known carcinogen.") The use of injection/implantation as the sole determinant of the carcinogenic activity of a fiber is not generally accepted. For example, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in its 1977 Criteria Document on glass fibers, states, "It is not valid to extrapolate from the results from these intracavitary exposures in animals to humans in the workplace." (NIOSH, 1977.) Also, when the EPA evaluated the same data as IARC, it concluded that the animal studies were "limited" and not "sufficient."
 For a detailed discussion of these findings, as well as other health and safety aspects of this product, consult "Health and Safety Research on Fiber Glass," available from NAIMA.
 NAIMA member companies have invested millions of dollars in research projects with leading laboratories and universities in the United States and abroad. NAIMA-supported research has been designed to investigate the possible human health effects of fiber glass and other MMVFs.
 Summary
 The position of NAIMA members that manufacture fiber glass is clear: Fiber glass is safe to manufacture, install and use when current, recommended work practices are followed. Work practices and exposure guidelines vary among manufacturers. Consult your NAIMA member company's MSDS and other company literature. There is no evidence of significant health risk when fiber glass products and systems are properly designed, installed, operated and maintained. These conclusions are based on completed research, interim results from ongoing studies and comprehensive research reviews by scientific organizations and their independent researchers. The results of these studies have been and will continue to be made available to employees, customers, and appropriate government and regulatory agencies.
 For More Information
 For a detailed overview on the latest medical/scientific research on fiber glass, refer to the NAIMA brochure, "Health and Safety Research on Fiber Glass." Or call or write:
 NAIMA Member Companies
 Celotex Corporation
 Tampa, Fla.
 CertainTeed Corporation
 Valley Forge, Pa.
 Knauf Fiber Glass
 Shelbyville, Ind.
 Manville Corporation
 Denver, Colo.
 Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation
 Toledo, Ohio
 Partek Insulations, Incorporated
 Peachtree City, Ga.
 Rock Wool Manufacturing Company
 Leeds, Ala.
 Roxul Incorporated
 Milton, Ontario
 USG Interiors, Incorporated
 Chicago, Ill.
 U.S. Mineral Products Company
 Netcong, N.J.
 Western Fiberglass, Incorporated
 Salt Lake City, Utah
 THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN FIBER GLASS AND ASBESTOS
 Fiber glass is totally and fundamentally different from asbestos - both in its physical and chemical properties. Most importantly, fiber glass has not been shown to cause lung cancer or mesothelioma in humans, as asbestos has. Here are the important differences to remember:
 -- Asbestos is a naturally occurring, inorganic fiber which is mined and separated from a host rock. Glass fibers are man-made products manufactured under controlled conditions from glass in a molten state.
 -- Asbestos - when it is breathed into the lungs by humans - causes mesothelioma, lung cancer and fibrosis, or lung scarring. Fiber glass - when breathed in by humans - has not been shown to cause these diseases.
 -- The World Health Organization (WHO) has concluded that the numerous studies on the health of fiber glass workers provide inadequate evidence to link the product with cancer. On the other hand, WHO links asbestos fibers directly with mesothelioma.
 -- Glass fibers will dissolve in a person's body fluids and are easily removed from the lungs. Asbestos fibers dissolve slowly, if at all, in lung fluids and long fibers remain.
 -- Asbestos has been classified as a known carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). IARC has classified fiber glass wool as a possible carcinogen, largely because of studies that showed the development of cancer when surgically implanted into the bodies of animals, bypassing the body's normal defense mechanisms.
 -- Glass fibers are non-crystalline and monofilament in structure. Under a microscope, they resemble single rods of material which break across their long axes, resulting in shorter fibers of the same width. Asbestos fibers are crystalline and multifilament in structure. They split lengthwise to form ultra-fine fibers, inside and outside the body.
 Health and safety research on fiber glass has been ongoing for nearly 50 years. To date, more than 400 reports have appeared discussing the health and safety of glass fibers. There is no convincing evidence that exposure to airborne fiber glass is associated with respiratory disease or cancer in humans.
 The position of NAIMA members that manufacture fiber glass is clear and is supported by five decades of research: Fiber glass is safe to manufacture, install and use when recommended work practices are followed.
 NAIMA member companies continue to support ongoing scientific investigations into the health and safety aspects of fiber glass. NAIMA is dedicated to providing up-to-date information on the results of these studies as soon as they are available.
 For additional information, call or write:
 NAIMA
 44 Canal Center Plaza
 Suite 310
 Alexandria, Va. 22314
 TEL 703-684-0084
 -0- 1/9/92
 /CONTACT: Jim Finn or Ron Pratt of North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, 310-444-7000/ CO: North American Insulation Manufacturers Association ST: California IN: SU:


PS -- NY095 -- 8481 01/09/92 21:28 EST
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