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Old 09-08-2011, 09:44 PM   #1
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Is my Roxul sound insulation toxic?


I am a DIY home owner building a house and have installed a lot of Roxul AFB 316 sound batting in my interior walls. I was also planning on putting it in my floor, but after 3 weeks with doors and windows open there is still a very strong smell coming from it. I have called Roxul several times and they tell me it is not toxic and has no smell. As a comparison I bought some Roxul Safe and Sound (from Lowes for $10 more per bundle), which has little smell. Roxul tells me the AFB and Safe and Sound are exactly the same product. How can that be when one stinks. I feel irritation in my lungs and a friend came today and his eyes itched and blew up. I've spent a lot of time and money on this and I'm worried I have a toxic house. Has anyone else experienced this problem with Roxul. Talking to the manufacturer hasn't alleviated my anxiety, even though it is a CFC & HCFC free product and rated by Greenguard.

Does anyone have experience or knowledge of this product?

Thanks

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Old 09-08-2011, 09:49 PM   #2
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Is my Roxul sound insulation toxic?


Some people are more hyper-sensitive to smells and such than others. As for toxic, only if you bed down in it, and use it in your breakfast over a long time. It is possible that it is something else that you are using in this job. What other materials have you used, along with stuff you have done with the remodel? It could be anything, just trying to figure it out, after you have been around it, doing what you have done, you could always bring in a third "nose" and see if they are sensing anything in the property.


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Old 09-08-2011, 11:02 PM   #3
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Is my Roxul sound insulation toxic?


The odor was immediate as soon as the bags of Roxul were opened. It is the Roxul -- no question about it. I thought the smell would go away, but it hasn't after 3 weeks. Everyone can smell it though some more than others. The Roxul Safe and Sound has little smell compared to the Roxul AFB, but too late now, it's installed, unless I rip it all out. The AFB has "cured urea extended phenolic Formaldehyde binder" in it. The contractor friend whose eyes itched and puffed up just being in the space thought the binder might not be cured.

I'm in a bind and not sure what to do now. Would it dissipate when closed up with drywall? Will it eventually go away? I think there's obviously some chemical in it that is causing a reaction as well as the odor. This is not just one bundle, but all of it. Why do the two products have a different odor if I am told by Roxul that they are identical except for size and packaging? To me, it doesn't make sense.
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:28 AM   #4
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Is my Roxul sound insulation toxic?


When ever you do stuff like this, you should be airing the structure out at the same time. Since it has been closed up, and not allowing fresh air in to remove any contaminants or smells, and you put up the Gypsum, the smell could stick around. I would air it out real well. That means getting fans like this http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/por...ecatalog/N-8t8 You can usually rent them.
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:22 AM   #5
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Is my Roxul sound insulation toxic?


Thanks for the suggestion. I've had doors and windows open for 3 weeks. I'll add my box fans. Though, still doesn't answer the question about the strong odor of Roxul. Thanks, Brit
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:05 AM   #6
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Is my Roxul sound insulation toxic?


When you close up the space, the air stagnants. Also if all you are doing is pushing air into the space, not removing it, you are not pulling out the smell.
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Old 09-09-2011, 03:33 PM   #7
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Is my Roxul sound insulation toxic?


My fans are spinning.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:08 PM   #8
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Is my Roxul sound insulation toxic?


Brit,
I read your post and was curious how this turned out since it was late last year that you posted this. I installed Roxul Safe and Sound and it's currently emitting a very strong odor.
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:12 PM   #9
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Is my Roxul sound insulation toxic?


I installed Roxul Safe and Sound in every interior wall of my 1000 sq ft cabin that was built last April. I can't smell a trace of it, and to be honest, I never did (once the walls went up). Walls and ceiling are pine, though. Not a square inch of drywall in the place. Perhaps the pine is offsetting the smell. I just know I have no complaints.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:59 PM   #10
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Is my Roxul sound insulation toxic?


Quote:
Originally Posted by steve13 View Post
Brit,
I read your post and was curious how this turned out since it was late last year that you posted this. I installed Roxul Safe and Sound and it's currently emitting a very strong odor.
I spoke to Roxul HQ several times and felt I was lied to. After a couple of months of a continuous and irritating chemical smell I finally concluded I had enough BS and was getting nowhere with the company. Although it caused more time and money I ripped it all out and took it to the dump. Good riddance. The problem was instantly resolved and I installed formaldehyde free insulation instead. I'm sure it's not as good a sound insulator, but who wants to live in a toxic house if you don't have to. I didn't want to find out the hard way once the drywall was up and finished that there were still problems. At the building supplier I discussed my problem and they verified that it does have odor (counter to the manufacturer's claim) referring to it as "rotten cotton". However, they wouldn't assume any liability and I'm sure Roxul wouldn't either without a law suite. Goodbye Roxul.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:04 PM   #11
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Is my Roxul sound insulation toxic?


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I spoke to Roxul HQ several times and felt I was lied to. After a couple of months of a continuous and irritating chemical smell I finally concluded I had enough BS and was getting nowhere with the company. Although it caused more time and money I ripped it all out and took it to the dump. Good riddance. The problem was instantly resolved and I installed formaldehyde free insulation instead. I'm sure it's not as good a sound insulator, but who wants to live in a toxic house if you don't have to. I didn't want to find out the hard way once the drywall was up and finished that there were still problems. At the building supplier I discussed my problem and they verified that it does have odor (counter to the manufacturer's claim) referring to it as "rotten cotton". However, they wouldn't assume any liability and I'm sure Roxul wouldn't either without a law suite. Goodbye Roxul.

Yikes; I will soon be insulating the walls and floor on the house I just built and I was planning on using Roxul.

I figured that Roxul, being a rock wool product, was one of the safer insulations.

I sure don't like the sound of this.
Has anyone else had a problem with Roxul ?

Now, I'm wondering if I should re-think my insulation strategy.
I sure don't want a product that produces an odor, even a slight one.

Brit, what insulation did you end up installing ?

Arky
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Old 04-14-2012, 01:13 AM   #12
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Is my Roxul sound insulation toxic?


I've never had a problem with it. When you get it home, cut a couple of bags open and let it air out overnight before you install it. Take it back the next day, if you don't like the smell.
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:19 AM   #13
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Is my Roxul sound insulation toxic?


Thanks Brit...
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:44 PM   #14
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Is my Roxul sound insulation toxic?


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Thanks Brit...
This is the Roxal AFB I am referring to and not the Safe and Sound, which by the way also has formaldehyde in it. However, I'm sure it's the binders that smell and give off the toxic odor. It's not just smell, but also a chemical reaction. In my case bronchial constriction and in my friends, dizziness and grossly irritated eyes and this is just breathing the air after several weeks of venting.

What outraged me was Roxal's claim and insistence that there is no odor (this is the lie) and that it is the very same product as Safe and Sound only in a different bag. I did smell the Safe and Sound which seemed to have only a slight odor, but after ripping out 2,000 sq ft of interior wall insulation I certainly wasn't going to use the same manufacturer's product.

I was outraged to say the least.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:54 PM   #15
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Is my Roxul sound insulation toxic?


Roxal does not normally have much of an odor but occasionally you get some that does. I have always figured it to be a problem with the mixing of the binders at the factory that got past their quality control

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