The effect of mineral fibres (glass wool and stone wool) on humans has been thoroughly investigated by independent medical experts and researchers.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is part of the World Health Organization. They have classified mineral wool in line with EU Directive 97/69/EC, which states that mineral wool fibres can be free of any suspicion of carcinogenicity if they are bio-soluble.
European Union Directive 97/69/EC was adopted in December 1998. This directive sets the health and safety requirements for MMVF (Man-made vitreous fibre) products. The directive classifies the carcinogenicity of MMVF products into the following categories:
carcinogenic to humans (asbestos)
Category 2: probably carcinogenic (ceramic fibre)
Category 3: possibly carcinogenic (insulation wools which have not been investigated)
cannot be classified as carcinogenic (PAROC stone wool products)
Based on Nota Q of European Directive 97/69/EC, mineral wool produced in accordance with the EU classification dissolves at an acceptable rate if it enters the human system, and can be labelled "non-classified", which also means it is considered non-carcinogenic. Paroc has modified the chemical composition of the fibre to comply with the solubility requirements.
The European Certification Board for Mineral wool (EUCEB) verifies the conformity of the fibres with the exemption criteria of the European directive. If fibres meet the test criteria, EUCEB grants the producer the right to put the EUCEB label on its packaging. From this label, consumers can easily recognise that mineral wool products are made of fibres exempted from the European carcinogenic classification.
The EUCEB Quality Board, based on advice from independent experts, ensures that tests have been carried out in accordance with European protocols, that the results are in accordance with the bio-persistence criteria set out in Nota Q of European Directive 97/69/EC, and that the chemical composition of the fibres produced is within the same range as the that of the fibres tested.
Paroc is a member of EUCEB and has the EUCEB trademark in Finland, Sweden, Poland and Lithuania. All EU Member States have implemented the EU directive in their national legislation.
RAL quality mark
Since June 2000, a ban on the circulation, production and use of bio-persistent artificial mineral fibres for heat and sound absorption in buildings and for technical insulation has been in force in Germany. This "Ordinance for the Change of Chemical Legal Ordinances" (Verordnung zur Änderung chemikalienrechtlicher Verordnungen) includes an exemption regulation for bio-soluble fibres that are in compliance with the exemption criteria given by the German "Hazardous Substances Ordinance" (Gefahrstoff-Verordnung). Such bio-soluble fibres are consequently permitted by the ordinance. The criteria are not the same as the exemption criteria of the European Directive. In most cases mineral wool fibres complying with the German exemption criteria are even more bio-soluble than fibres complying with the European criteria.
The Gütegemeinschaft Mineralwolle e.V. (GGM) is able to award a manufacturer with the RAL quality mark and regularly check that the manufacturer of the mineral wool meets the high requirements. Mineral wool products awarded with the RAL quality mark are not subject to the prohibition of the chemical ban ordinance. The RAL quality mark for "products made of mineral wool" indicates that the quality and safety of mineral wool products is checked by an independent third party.
All stone wool products manufactured by Paroc comply not only with EUCEB but also with RAL.