Fiberglass insulation litter threatens residents, marine and wildlife

Dial Dalfred

ST. MARTIN PARISH, La. (KLFY) – A St. Martin Parish man is concerned for his health and his community at large after fiberglass insulation spilled onto the road near his home.

Mainly used in homes as a thermal insulator because of its non-fire hazard properties, fiberglass can cause a host of issues if mishandled or inhaled.

Kenneth Tauzin says at some point Monday, a large amount of fiberglass insulation was spilled onto the roadway in front of his house.

“First of all, some people are allergic to it and plus, I’m concerned that kids might get hold to this stuff,” Tauzin said.

Tauzin says he called DOTD and they came and collected most of the insulation, which he’s thankful for, but some was left behind.

According to professionals, even in small amounts, fiberglass can cause serious health concerns.

“When you inhale or ingest it, it goes right into the lungs. It gives you respiratory problems, it gives you burning in your nose, in your lungs, in your throat”, Wilma Subra is president of Subra Company told us. Subra provides technical assistance to community groups dealing with environmental human health issues.

“In this case, it looks like used fiberglass so whatever it was in contact with wherever it was being used it could’ve picked up a whole host of chemical contaminants”, Subra said.

As Tauzin further explained why he was on edge, he said, “I’m worried about the environment because it can get into our water table”.

While remnants sit in ditches, Bayou Teche is its next stop; meaning now there’s a possibility fish can consume it.

“If it’s got the bad chemicals associated with it that would get absorbed in their digestive system, in their circulatory system and it could be in the edible portions as well”, Subra went on to say.

To avoid fiberglass threatening our way of life, several sources recommend securely bagging used insulation before throwing it out.

Because the debris was on a state highway, DOTD officials say they’ll send a crew out to remove the insulation to the best of their ability.

You can do your part by properly disposing of the waste.

If there’s an ongoing issue in your neighborhood or community, or you have questions that need answers, Send me an email at dialdalfred@klfy.com.

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