Cinnaminson, NJ, April 20th, 2015
In recent years, the use of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) has become increasingly popular with new construction and for remodeling projects. SPF’s popularity is a direct result of its excellent insulating properties and ability to protect against moisture, fill cracks and crevices, and reduce airborne sounds coming through walls, floors and roofs.
SPF is applied as two precisely-mixed components exit an applicator nozzle. A chemical reaction occurs during this step, and the foam is formed, which then begins to cure. During this process, chemicals, including isocyanates, are released into the surrounding environment. Once the foam is fully and completely cured, it is supposed to be a safe, inert insulating and sealing material.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states, “SPF is an effective insulation and air sealant material; however, exposures to its key ingredient, isocyanates such as MDI, and other SPF chemicals that may be found in vapors, aerosols, dust or on surfaces during and for a period of time after installation may cause adverse health effects such as asthma. Therefore, steps to control exposures and safety tips should be followed.” The agency goes on to report, “There is concern for exposure to any isocyanate-containing material related to SPF use, including products that contain only a single isocyanate. It is important to understand the other products that contain isocyanates because if sensitized to isocyanates, even low concentrations of isocyanates can trigger a severe asthma attack or other lung effects, or a potentially fatal reaction.”
To help prevent exposure to isocyanates and other chemicals of concern during and after SPF applications, EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers testing services. “As the use of SPF continues to grow, it is important that both applicators and the public understand the risks associated with exposure to isocyanates,” said Vince Daliessio, CIH, Project Manager at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “At EMSL, we offer all of the sampling supplies and analytical services to test for these substances to prevent needless exposure and health risks.”
EMSL recently sponsored an educational video about spray polyurethane foam and chemical exposure concerns that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/9qswClQ4gxo.
To learn more about testing for isocyanates or other indoor air quality, environmental, health and safety issues, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, industrial hygiene, food and materials testing services and products to government agencies, industry professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.