At the start I must state that I have no direct interest either way, I just want to see informed debate rather than the hysteria which seems to have developed in some areas in regard to ceramic fibre. To assist with this aim, I will list three commonly held beliefs about ceramic fibre, and discuss them. All my information is supported by documentation instead of hearsay, however I will be very pleased to hear from anyone with more current documentation than I have. This does not address the benefits of either product in energy usage, cost or reliability. I have been operating, repairing and building kilns for many years.
REFRACTORY CERAMIC FIBRE (RCF) CAUSES CANCER. This belief appears to come mainly from tests held in the RCC Laboratories in Geneva in the late 80s in which rats and hamsters were force fed extremely large doses of ceramic fibre materials (perhaps equivalent to a human swallowing an entire roll of ceramic fibre). Not surprisingly, some tumours resulted. However, these results have since been challenged and discredited as it was considered that the amount of fibre ingested was far in excess of the amount a human would be exposed to even in the very worst case, and very few of the tumours were actually life threatening. The conclusion of an expert authority in the EU is that-
a. No evidence (exists) of disease in man after more than 30 years of sale and use of RCF.
b. RCF is a unique product, which can be used safely.
c. The classification of RCF in Europe (as hazardous) is based only on animal tests whose validity is in question.
d. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in the United States does not classify RCF (as hazardous).
CONCLSION: Not proven.