Spray Foam Insulation: Should You Be Concerned?
Installing spray foam insulation in houses is highly recommended, as doing so will help shield your attic spaces from the harsh winter cold. Insulation installation contractors are professionals dressed in white uniforms with a headgear.
Their instruments pump liquid into the finished walls of a building. They need to wear that protective gear because the chemicals in polyurethane foams are detrimental to human health when inhaled. The problem is, no one in the community felt that we homeowners should care about air quality as well.
Spray Foam Health Issues
Fortunately, after installing spray foam in the master bedroom, most people weren’t bothered by any significant ill effects. But you can never be sure of that. Not every homeowner was fortunate enough to be certain that it will not affect their health at all.
As more buildings are sprayed with spray foam, neurological and respiratory symptoms have been reported. Some of them are serious enough to alarm homeowners. Statistics show that more than 350,000 Icynenes have been sold on the market.
What’s Inside Spray Foam Insulation?
The use of spray foam in homes was found responsible for some of the serious health concerns that people experience. The use of spray foam insulation means triggering a chemical reaction between two liquid materials. There’s an element called as the blowing agent, which is simply water in open-cell foams. Closed-cell foams are typically based on hydrofluorocarbons and are not fully understood to cause health effects.
Most spray foams, according to NIOSH, contain isocyanates that are known to be strong eye irritants. They also cause issues to the mucosal membranes, as well as the digestive and respiratory tracts. Other spray foam products include polyols, flame retardants, and amines. There are also proprietary additives that aren’t placed on the label by some manufacturers.
Addressing Health Concerns
The EPO notes that some of the diseases related to spray foam insulation include asthma, lung infections, skin or eye irritation, and other forms of respiratory problems. These may occur during and after installing the product. Those exposed to spray foam insulation’s moisture have become so susceptible to the compound in the product that their health responds adversely as they enter a building with spray foam insulation installed. Some flammable chemicals are also alleged endocrine disruptors and potential carcinogens.
Manufacturers say spray foam insulation is inert and shouldn’t pose a health risk, especially as laboratory tests were performed on dry insulation. Nevertheless, improper installations may mean that unreacted spray foam insulation may still be hazardous. Even if the chemicals remain in place, it may still cause breathing problems for some of the home’s occupants.
Since these are the truth about spray foam insulation, then you must make sure that you consult with an expert in insulation Austin so the health risks are minimized. Always observe caution when applying or using any type of insulation. Your health should be the highest priority. While these products can provide a wide range of benefits, it still pays to weigh its advantages and disadvantages before proceeding.