Fibreglass is one of the man made mineral fibres which has been used to replace asbestos. Many older fibreglass workers have prior asbestos exposure. Itching is common in fibreglass workers probably due to the physical properties of the fibres (ie it has nothing to do with allergy). There are a few reports of occupational asthma and rarely bronchiolitis in workers exposed to fibreglass. Fibreglass can be made as a mono filament for subsequent weaving. This is often coated with agents such as colophony, phenol formaldehyde etc, which is a more common cause of occupational asthma. There are also reports of alveolitis and humidifier fever from the humidifiers needed to reduce static when winding.
There are also reports of asthma and bronchiolitis in workers laying up fibreglass matting with styrene, styrene being the more likely cause of the problems.
The Oasys Audit scheme started midway through 2010 and collects agents typed in through the Oasys program. The years before 2010 show old data entered during 2010 or later and are likely to have many fewer notifications. We expect Oasys to become more widely adopted as time goes by so increasing notifications does not necessarily mean an increasing problem.