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Protect Gear and Other Safety Tips

Insulation materials are often dusty and irritating to skin, so wear cotton gloves and long sleeves when working with them. When installing fiberglass or rockwool, wear loose-fitting clothes that won't work mineral fibers into your skin. A cap or bandana will help you keep dust or fibers out of your hair.

A paper respirator or "surgical mask" (Fig. 2.1) is important for keeping dust and fibers out of your nose and lungs. For eye protection, wear a pair of plastic goggles (Fig. 2.2).
If you must kneel while working in the attic or crawl space, knee pads or elastic bandages will help keep your knees from getting bruised. It's a good idea to wear shoes or boots with nonslip soles.

Figure 2.1 Figure 2.2
Also consider wearing a hard hat to protect your head from protruding nails.

To wash away possible irritation from insulating fibers, take a cool shower afterwards. Warm water opens pores, allowing the itchy insulating fibers to sink further into your skin.
Never smoke when working with insulation materials. Some types of insulation (such as foam rigid board) are highly flammable.
Do not install ceiling insulation on a warm day when the attic is hot and humid. This can be uncomfortable and even dangerous.

Next: How to Insulate a Ceiling

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