Mineral wool is a furnace product of molten rock, at a temperature of about 1600°C, through which is blown a stream of air or steam. The final product is a mass of fine intertwined fibres with a typical diameter of 6 to 10 micrometres. Mineral wool may contain a binder and an oil to reduce dusting. It is a poor conductor of heat and sound, is fire-proof and insect-proof, and therefore is ideal as a building insulation. Other uses are in resin bonded panels and as a filtering medium.
Precautions need to be made when handling the fibre product as it can be absorbed into the body by inhalation. It can also irritate the eyes, skin and respiratory tract. Prolonged exposure could lead to long term effects and it is considered a possible carcinogen to humans. This effect may depend upon the fibre diameter and length, chemical composition and persistence within the body.
The EU risk and safety phrases associated with this material are: