Eating Wall Insulation: What will Happen?

Short Answer: If you accidentally swallow fiberglass insulation, you may experience stomach irritation, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, as well as skin, eye and respiratory problems.

Fiberglass insulation is a synthetic fiber made by melting glass and drawing it into strands.

It is used to insulate walls, floors, ceilings and ductwork in homes.

It can help reduce heat loss and noise transmission, but it can also cause health problems if it comes into contact with the skin, eyes, nose, throat or stomach.

If you accidentally swallow fiberglass insulation, you may experience stomach irritation, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

This is because it contains tiny glass fibers that can scratch and damage the lining of your digestive tract.

Fiberglass insulation can also cause irritant contact dermatitis, which is inflammation of the skin, if it touches your mouth or lips.

Fiberglass insulation can also affect your breathing if you inhale the fibers.

They can worsen asthma or bronchitis, or cause soreness in the nose and throat.

In rare cases, they may get into the lungs and cause serious complications, such as lung fibrosis or cancer.

It is quite uncommon to eat fiberglass insulation, as it is usually installed behind walls or in attics, where it is not easily accessible.

However, some people may accidentally ingest it while cutting or installing the insulation, or if they find loose pieces of it in their home.

You can seek medical attention if you eat fiberglass insulation and experience any of the symptoms mentioned above.

Do not induce vomiting or take laxatives, as this may worsen the condition.

Flush your eyes with water and wash your skin with soap and water if they come into contact with the fibers.

Move to fresh air and consult a doctor if you have trouble breathing.

To avoid accidental swallowing of fiberglass insulation, you should wear protective clothing and equipment when working with it.

Wear goggles, a dust mask, gloves and long sleeves to prevent the fibers from entering your body.

Wash your clothes separately and rinse the washing machine thoroughly after removing them.

Keep children and pets away from the insulation and dispose of any waste properly.

Finally, remember, fiberglass insulation is not edible and can cause harm to your health.

It is best to leave it to the professionals or follow the safety precautions if you have to handle it yourself.

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About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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