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Green Building Myth Busting: Nope, You're Not Allergic to Wool (Video)

Rate It Green Team 0 Ratings 40 Discussions 4 Group posts

Posted by: Rate It Green Team

Matt Hoots is always ready to bust a myth.  Recently, he was talking with Daman Dillon and Kristine Hart of Caragreen Healthy Building Materials about Havelock loose fill wool insulation (100% wool and no synthetic mix - it’s also water resistant and has an R-value of 4.3), and the question came up about wool and allergies….

This video goes to show why everyone should be a part of the green building community.  Why not do some good, create something useful, valuable, and impactful and have a good time while sharing what you’ve learned from what you do?  

In this video, the team ponders that most people, even those who itch and sneeze and therefore think they’re allergic to wool, are actually allergic to the chemicals used to process the wool, such as additives in dyes or lanolin, even threads, or the coarse texture of certain (but not all) wools.  Shetland is an example of a coarser wool, where the texture itself might make someone feel itchy, especially if that person has sensitive skin.

Another possibility is that humans are allergic to dander - wool is often work in dry cold seasons, and it may be working to trap or insulate our own dander, which can then cause an itch.  Dust in our homes is also made of human and pet or other animal dander, dust mites (allergic to their exoskeletons and not the mites even), and all kinds of particles, and this dust can be the cause of many allergies.  

Surprisingly, wool that is free of chemicals is actually 99% hypoallergenic. According to Daman, raw sheep wool is 100% hypoallergenic.  

As far as wool is concerned as a building material, this is not an allergy risk or problem.  While we don’t recommend tearing open walls to play with the wool, the insulation does not pose a health risk.  Daman mentions that the wool insulation is technically baby safe (again, we don’t recommend leaving your baby sleeping on a pile of wool or wool insulation…but point taken).  

Clearly, Daman, Kristine, and Matt are all having way too much fun. Stay tuned for Matt’s bloopers at the end of the video, and please don’t mind his humor!  According to Matt, maybe people are “allergic to themselves.” Daman is wisely not 100% sure if he should agree to that one…  Meanwhile, Matt’s still thinking about the difference between foxes and wolves….   

Are you allergic to wool, or do you think you are?  Chances are, you’re likely wrong…  What other allergies are related to our environment, and which can we work to alleviate or prevent so that people don’t suffer? Let’s discuss!  


SawHorse, Inc.
4 Ratings 0 Discussions 3 Group posts

SawHorse, Inc.

Thanks for sharing

AndrewP-GDC Waukesha, WI, united-states 0 Ratings 0 Discussions 0 Group posts

AndrewP-GDC // What good is saving the environment if we are still poisoning the occupants?

Unless you're scouring out all the oils in the wool, natural lanolin can also cause an allergic response.


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