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FAQs - Indoor Air Quality

Answers to your most common questions about indoor air quality.

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Continuous Ceilings
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Are Armstrong ceilings safe to install & use?
Yes.
INSTALLATION.  Studies have shown that exposures during conventional installation are below all current occupational standards for nuisance and other listed substances (dust).  If power tools are used in the installation, they should be equipped with special dust collection devices, and the workers should wear the appropriate NIOSH-designated respirators.

IN-PLACE.  Once installed, Armstrong ceiling products do not represent an identifiable health risk to the general building occupants.

Do Armstrong ceiling products contain mineral wool?  If so, do these products represent a health risk?
Some Armstrong ceilings contain mineral wool, but they do not represent a health risk (see below).

PRODUCT.  The safety of those Armstrong acoustical ceiling products that do contain mineral wool has been confirmed through occupational studies of mineral wool workers which have been carried out for more than 50 years.  The results of these studies and reviews by independent researchers give no indication that exposure to products which contain mineral wool causes a health risk.

INSTALLATION.  The installation practices for ceiling products recommended by Armstrong and other manufacturers have been monitored. Those studies which were submitted to United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration ("OSHA") showed that exposure to mineral wool during the installation of the ceiling materials, when typical installation practices are used, are significantly below the permissible exposure limit (PEL) of one fiber per cubic centimeter for such materials.

IN-PLACE.  Once installed, Armstrong ceiling products do not represent an identifiable health risk to the general building occupants.

Do Armstrong ceiling products contain silica?  If so, do these products represent a health risk?
Armstrong mineral wool ceilings contain silica, but they do not represent a health risk (see below).

PRODUCT.  Silica is present in most Armstrong mineral wool ceiling products.  Tests conducted for Armstrong which monitored a typical installation did not detect the presence of any respirable silica.

INSTALLATION.  Silica is present in most Armstrong mineral wool ceiling products.  Tests conducted for Armstrong which monitored a typical installation of these products did not detect the presence of any respirable silica. The only foreseeable installation practice that may generate measurable levels of respirable silica would be through the use of power tools.  For this reason, Armstrong and other manufacturers recommend that a dust respirator, as well as a dust collection device, be used during power tool applications.

IN-PLACE.  Once installed, Armstrong ceiling products do not represent an identifiable health risk to the general building occupants.

Do Armstrong ceiling products release formaldehyde? If so, do they represent a health hazard?
PRODUCT.  Certain materials used in the production of Armstrong ceiling products may result in the release of small amounts of formaldehyde at the time of installation. During the manufacturing process, the majority of the formaldehyde is driven off.

INSTALLATION.  Studies have shown that any residual formaldehyde releases at the time of installation dissipate very quickly with adequate ventilation and are well below permissible exposure levels established by the United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

IN-PLACE.  Installed Armstrong ceiling products do not represent an identifiable health risk to the general building occupants.

Do Armstrong fiberglass ceiling products represent a health hazard?
PRODUCT.  The safety of Armstrong fiberglass ceiling products has been confirmed through occupational studies of fiberglass workers over the last 50 years. The results of these studies and reviews by independent researchers give no indications that exposure to products which contain fiberglass causes a health risk.

INSTALLATION.  Studies have shown that exposures during conventional installation are below all current occupational standards for nuisance and other listed substances (dust). If power tools are used in the installation, they should be equipped with special dust collection devices, and the workers should wear the appropriate NIOSH-designated respirators. The only foreseeable health effect that may be caused by fiberglass is an irritation of the skin during the installation process. This condition is transient and disappears when physical contact ceases.

IN-PLACE.  Installed Armstrong ceiling products do not represent an identifiable health risk to the general building occupants.

Has there been a recent favorable change in the ruling regarding the health aspects and classification of fibrous glass, mineral and slag wool?
PRODUCT.  In October 2001, an expert review by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) re-evaluated the 1988 IARC assessment of fibrous glass, rock and slag wool fibers. This ruling removed them from the list of possible carcinogens by downgrading the classification of these fibers from Group 2B (possible carcinogen) to Group 3 (not classified as to carcinogenicity in humans). All Armstrong ceiling products that use these fibers are included in this classification.

Are respirable fibers released during general maintenance activities that would require the disturbance/removal of the Optima® High-NRC product?
Tests* were conducted to measure respirable fibers generated following the installation, removal/reinstallation of the Hi-LR Optima® fiberglass product.  In all cases, the results of the monitoring** one hour, and 24 hours, after each activity did not detect the presence of respirable airborne fiber.

**Large chamber protocol followed the guidelines of ASTM Standard D5116. The dynamic
chamber was operated at one air change per hour and 23×C and 50% relative humidity.
**Fiber counts were conducted in accordance with NIOSH Method 7400B.


Are respirable fibers released during general maintenance activities that would require the disturbance/removal of the Cirrus® product?
Tests* were conducted to measure respirable fibers generated following the installation, removal/reinstallation of the Cirrus mineral fiber product. In all cases, the results of the monitoring** one hour, and 24 hours, after each activity did not detect the presence of respirable airborne fibers.


**Large chamber protocol followed the guidelines of ASTM Standard D5116. The dynamic
chamber was operated at one air change per hour and 23×C and 50% relative humidity.
**Fiber counts were conducted in accordance with NIOSH Method 7400B.

Are respirable fibers released during general maintenance activities that would require the disturbance/removal of the Cirrus® product?
Tests* were conducted to measure respirable fibers generated following the installation, removal/reinstallation of the Cirrus mineral fiber product. In all cases, the results of the monitoring** one hour, and 24 hours, after each activity did not detect the presence of respirable airborne fibers. **Large chamber protocol followed the guidelines of ASTM Standard D5116. The dynamic
chamber was operated at one air change per hour and 23×C and 50% relative humidity.
**Fiber counts were conducted in accordance with NIOSH Method 7400B. 

Are respirable fibers released during general maintenance activities that would require the disturbance/removal of the Ultima TM  product?
Tests* were conducted to measure respirable fibers generated following the installation removal/reinstallation of the Ultima mineral fiber product.  In all cases, the results of the monitoring** at one hour, and 24 hours, after each activity indicated the respirable fiber levels range from barely above to below the detection limit for the method.

**Large chamber protocol followed the guidelines of ASTM Standard D5116. The dynamic
chamber was operated at one air change per hour and 23×C and 50% relative humidity.
**Fiber counts were conducted in accordance with NIOSH Method 7400B.

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