Synthetic mineral fibres (SMF)

Synthetic mineral fibres (SMF) are inorganic fibres produced in a variety of blowing or spinning processes from glass or mineral melts. With this procedure a fibre fleece is produced.

The huge advantage of SMF is their resistance to moulds, rot, vermin and their excellent thermal insulation and fire resistance properties. The field of application of SMF therefore ranges from simple thermal insulation to acoustic ceilings and felt mats.

Improper handling of SMF can lead to irritation of the skin and the respiratory tract. Moreover, older fibres are classified as carcinogenic. Due to the high carcinogenicity index (KI), which refers to the biosolubility in the human body and the respirability at a fibre diameter of < 3 µm and a fibre length of < 5 µm, fibres can collect in the lungs causing lung cancer.

When working with SMF special attention has to be paid to the personal protection of the workers and the containment of the released fibres. The protective measures of respirator masks and protective suits as well as a the control of the air flow are indispensable.

Operations in the presence of SMF fall under the regulations TRGS 521 (German Technical Regulations for Hazardous Substances) as well as the German Ordinance on Hazardous Substances (GefStoffV) and have to be carried out observing special rules.

Due to the classification of SMF as  *hazardous waste* the disposal of substances containing SMF has to be made via the agency for hazardous wastes “Sonderabfallbehörde Berlin Brandenburg” (SBB) and accounted for in detail via the electronic waste-records procedure (ENV).

Possible waste code numbers (AVV no.) are:

17 06 03*Other insulating materials consisting of or containing hazardous substances