Evaluating the risk of cancer from man-made mineral fibres

Working with the International Agency for Research on Cancer and others, IOM helped publish definitive results in a major European epidemiological study into the carcinogenicity of mineral wool fibres and other synthetic fibres, most commonly found in products such as household roof insulation.

IOM’s expertise in measuring airborne dust informed the results of the study which proved influential in developing international regulations for the use of synthetic fibres, and was a key factor for the World Health Organisation’s decision to downgrade the materials and highlight that these are not a cause of lung cancer.

The analysis also suggested ischaemic heart disease and non-malignant renal diseases warranted further investigation.

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