How Applegate Cellulose Insulation is Safe!

Fire Safety

Applegate Cellulose Insulation is one of a few building materials used in homes that is commonly treated with fire retardants. Applegates’ premium products go the extra mile with fire retardancy by using a unique, two-stage process that injects both dry and liquid (BurnBarrier™) fire retardants to saturate the cellulose fibers. The use of our propriatary BurnBarrier™ fire retardant results in an exceptional insulation that meets and often exceeds stringent fire safety standards, helping protect you and your family.

Applegate Cellulose Insulation’s ability to add fire resistance is not limited to fire retardants, it also limits the amount of oxygen which can support a fire. Applegate Insulation gives occupants additional time to reach safety during a fire, unlike fiberglass which can actually decrease the amount of time a fire needs to destroy a wall. That’s right! The National Research Council Canada wrote, “…the fire resistance performance of an assembly with glass fibre insulation in the wall cavity was slightly lower than that of a non-insulated assembly.” Applegate Cellulose Insulation greatly restricts the amount of oxygen available to support combustion, preventing a chimney effect in which hot air and fire can race up a wall to a ceiling or attic where the fire can endanger the entire home.

Read more with, straight talk about building insulation and fire and new data on fire safety of aged cellulose insulation.

A comparison video of five different insulations and a non-insulated wall is available for viewing;

Fire comparison video – medium resolution
Fire comparison video – low resolution

Applegate Increases Fire Resistance by up to 55%!

Length of time to wall failure (minutes)


Air Quality

Many common building materials release and / or contain fairly dangerous substances. For example, particleboard emits formaldehyde. Carpeting outgasses volatile organic compounds. Fiberglass insulation is listed as a potential carcinogen, containing respirable glass fibers, and potentially formaldehyde. Applegate Insulation has none of these concerns. In fact, Dr. Arthur Furst, one of the world’s foremost toxicologists, states, “In essence, the dusts from cellulose insulation materials can be considered as any household dusts… Biologically, cellulose is innocuous.”



Donna Reynolds of the American Lung Association says, “Poor indoor air quality affects millions of workers’ health, decreases productivity, and increases the amount of sick leave.” Perhaps that’s why the American Lung Association of Virginia (ALA-VA) chose Applegate Insulation to insulate their 12,000 sq. ft., Breathe Easy® office complex. Applegate helps ALA – VA realize their primary goal of minimizing indoor air pollutants.

Take a look at some of the health concerns and how Applegate stacks up against traditional fiberglass.

A Comparison of Health Concerns

Fiberglass    Applegate Cellulose
Microscopic, respirable glass fibers? Yes No
Formaldehyde? Yes No
Reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogen?1 Yes No
Specified dust-mask rating required for install? Yes No

1 For “Certain inhalable glass wool fibers” per U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Report on Carcinogens (ROC) 12th edition


Mold spores are everywhere. They’re found in nearly every environment—inside and outside; can be carried in through windows, doors and HVAC systems, on people’s clothing or pets; and are ready to rapidly reproduce if given appropriate conditions. In order for those mold spores to be activated and grow, three things must be present: correct temperature, nutrients/food, and moisture. Two of these components are a part of most living spaces. Most individuals like to keep their thermostat between 65F and 75F – a perfect range for comfort. Unfortunately, mold likes that temperature range, too, and can survive at temperatures between 47F – 120F. Furthermore, our buildings are built and furnished with the organic materials that mold devours for food; carpet, drywall, ceiling tiles, wall paper—even dust—are all materials mold uses for nutrients.



Moisture, however, can and should be a controllable element. Therefore, mold problems are actually moisture problems. In the EPA’s guide to Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, the first question they ask someone to consider when assessing a mold occurrence is: “Are there existing moisture problems in the building?”

In a paper entitled “Mold: Causes, Health Effects and Clean-Up”, Joe Lstiburek, a well-known building scientist, emphasizes the correlation between moisture and mold, “Mold requires water. No water, no mold. Mold is the result of a water problem. Fix the water problem. Clean up the mold. And you have fixed the mold problem. To avoid mold problems, avoid water problems.”

The good news is that Applegate does not cause moisture problems. In fact, it helps prevent them! Applegate’s density and custom fit aid in controlling air infiltration and exfiltration. Other insulations may permit moisture to piggyback its way into the walls on humid air; once inside the structure it may condense and gather on cooler surfaces, jumpstarting the mold to life.