Are These Types of Insulation Safe?

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Q: I recently moved into the garden apartment of a wonderfully located though poorly maintained building. I'm concerned about some exposed insulation around a heater pipe in the bedroom ceiling and in a window sill in the kitchen. It looks grim, though I don't know enough about insulation materials to determine if it's toxic. Anyone recognize these materials? Should I be concerned?

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.

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