Health hazard of cellulose insulation?

Hello, Anyone have experience with this type of insulation? It's the stuff that looks like piles of cotten balls. I want to put this stuff in my attic via a blower rented at one of those building supply places. Does this stuff carry the same risks and precautions as the fiberglass insulation?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Rob wrote:

It is far less a hazard than fiberglass when blowing. Still, you want to wear a good dust mask.
Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Don't do it! This stuff is terrible! It's very dusty, gets everywhere has a much lower R value per inch than fibreglass. It settles after being blown in about 20% thus reducing it's initial R value even further. Also, if it gets wet, either through a roof leak, condensation build-up or whatever it will be completely ruined.
If you're convinced you're going to do it still, make sure you put your vapour barrier down first, and that it's sealed well, otherwise the cellulose will find ways into the house. I'd also keep it away from your attic access and use fibreglass batts there instead, otherwise you'll have a ton of this stuff fall out every time you open the hatch.
This is a voice of experience talking here.. :) The previous owners of the house we own installed cellulose, and we're working very hard to get rid of it-- it's just that bad.
It's essentially shredded newspaper treated with a flame-retardant. The newspaper won't hurt you, but that flame-retardant might.
Insulating an attic can be more challenging than you think. You have to make sure you don't block off air flow from the soffits to the roof vents up top. If you do you'll have ice-damming occur (this of course assumes you get snow where you live. :)
-- Steve (change TwoThousandAndThree to numerical form to respond via email)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Some blown cellulose types have a slightly higher R value than blown fiberglass. Short of getting soaked by leaks or condensation, cellulose is usually no worse than blown fiberglass for "settling" (especially the "gun-stick-on application" types). Tho, you will need to pay a bit more attention to the brand and method of application.
I personally would use fiberglass over blown cellulose simply because of risks from it getting damp. If you ever have a major water leak, you may not find out until the ceiling (including joists) collapses under the weight of hundreds of pounds worth of wet cellulose.
From the installation risk perspective, cellulose is somewhat safer than fiberglass. It's at LEAST as dusty. The fireretardants in cellulose aren't good for your health, nor the particulates. Neither is fiberglass fibers (silicosis) or the binders.
I personally much prefer blown rock wool. R value a little higher than fiberglass or cellulose. MUCH lower dust production (the fibers are large and heavy comparatively, so they don't fly nearly as much). Nothing fancy in the chemistry - reasonably non-toxic.
[We had rock wool blown into an attic. NO sign of it escaping anywhere else.]
Much less (but still not zero) installation health risk. Impervious to moisture, and settles less. Better than fiberglass or cellulose in a fire. Better sound deadening.
Whatever he uses, he'll need good eye and breathing protection.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.