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Indoor
Environment
& Health
Fire
Protection
Outdoor
Air Quality
Reduction
of fuel poverty
In addition to its comfort, cost-saving, and fire-protection
benefits, mineral wool insulation
contributes greatly
to a quality
indoor environment
. For example, more than 95% of mineral
wool insulation products are made of inorganic fibres; thus
minimising the moisture and nutrient conditions necessary
for fungal growth. Mineral wool fibres have been evaluated and
classified by the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and
Restriction of Chemical substances system (REACH) and Global
Harmonised System (GHS) as “non-physical hazardous,” “non-
health hazardous,” and “non-environmental hazardous.”
Mineral wool insulation acts as
a barrier to heat conduction
, and
the rawmaterials used in its manufacture are inherently non-
combustible. As a result, mineral wool insulation offers
a high
degree of passive fire protection
wherever it is installed. It does
not produce toxic fumes or falling hot droplets if a fire occurs.
Mineral wool insulation contributes to outdoor air quality
.
A recent study from the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI)
18
considered the effects of building insulation on ground-level
concentration levels of air pollutants. It estimated the reductions in
energy consumption when comparing business as usual with very
low energy building scenarios between 2005 and 2020 as regional
averages in the EU-25. The results revealed statistically significant
changes in ground-level mass concentration of main air pollutants
when comparing the insulated and non-insulated scenarios:
Emission reductions of up to 9%
in particulate matter and
6.3%
for sulphur dioxide were found in North Western Europe.
Carbon monoxide decreased by 0.6%
over southern Europe
while nitrogen oxides changed up to 2.5% in the Baltic region.
Seasonally and regionally averaged changes in ground-level
mass concentrations showed that
sulphur dioxide decreased
by up to 6.2%
and
particulate matter by up to 3.6%
in
Northwestern Europe.
Nitrogen oxide
concentrations
decreased by 1.7%
in Poland
and increases of up to 0.6% were found for ozone.
The prices of electricity, gas and other fuels such as coal are on
the rise, and this trend looks likely to continue. Therefore, there
is an
urgent need to protect vulnerable consumers
in order to
prevent situations of energy poverty.
Fuel poverty is a serious problem throughout the EU
, and it should
be addressed through intervention on policies such as social
welfare, energy prices and tariffs and domestic energy efficiency,
with particular emphasis on heating and insulation improvements
17
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M I N E R A L W O O L
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B U I L D I N G A S U S T A I N A B L E F U T U R E
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