Dr Carrie Redlich has been studying the effects of SPF exposure on the workers for years. Here is a power point on the health issues of SPF.
This article posted on elcosh makes it hard to argue the inherent dangers of SPF.
Spray foam insulation is referred to as ‘pure gasoline’ by some firefighters. SPF is largely made up of petrochemicals. If an SPF house fire occurs, the dense smoke will be the immediate point of danger to the occupants as well as YOU.
According to OSHA,Seattle’s Regional Office..”Rigid polyurethane and polyisocyanurate foams will, when ignited, burn rapidly and produce intense heat, dense smoke and gases which are irritating, flammable and/or toxic. As with other organic materials the most significant gas is usually carbon monoxide. Thermal decomposition products from polyurethane foam, consist mainly of carbon monoxide, benzene, toluene, oxides of nitrogen, hydrogen cyanide, acetaldehyde, acetone, propene, carbon dioxide, alkenes and water vapor.”
(more article info here)
Hygrogen cyanide was used as chemical warfare, what is it doing in your home or your neighbors air?
Some new ‘green’ builders are using SPF in entire communities of homes. What will happen to you or surrounding homes/schools if fire breaks out.
This is just one more danger of SPF that makes me question the ‘greenness’ of SPF.
Itchy, burning irritated eyes, headache, chest pain, sore throat, running nose, increased mucus in head/throat, breathing problems, cough, bronchitis, skin rash are some of the common complaints from families living in a home with spray foam insulation.
Does your home have a sweet almost chemical like smell that intensifies in the heat (attic on a hot day). Some foams are fishy smelling. Spray foam is NOT suppose to have an odor so if it does you may need to start asking questions.
Do your symptoms go away if you leave your home for awhile? If so – you may have a problem with your foam.
Looking at your foam can sometimes help determine a problem because of physical characteristics, but lots of problem foam homes have ‘ok’ looking foam. Well, ‘ok’ until tested in a chamber to see the gross amount of chemicals that ooze out at low temps of only 73 degrees.
Is your foam sticky, soft and wet or dry and flaky? Is it a cream color or yellow/orange? Is the color consistent or marbled?
Do you smell areas more than other areas? try cutting a mason jar sized piece out and put it in a mason jar, close it up for a day then smell it. Is it potent or no odor? If the whiff test makes your nose cringe, you very well may have a problem.
Did the installer ventilate your home while installing? Did the put a warning sign on your property to stay out for 24-48hr post spray (and during spray)?
If you think your foam is off gassing (yes, that means if it has a smell and sometimes the smell can minimal, but if you have symptoms as stated above with or without the smell) it is best to act sooner than later. We do not know the long term affects from SPF that is not inert. However it is well publicized that the chemical that make up SPF are all very dangerous and many are classified as carcinogens. So its better safe than sorry to have your SPF looked at and you indoor air to be tested if you even suspect you may have something wrong with your spray foam.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message on this blog.
Today I came across an interesting article written by Pat Dundon aka ‘The Insulation Man’.
Pat gives a well rounded take on the ins and outs of SPF insulation.
It would be great to hear Pats thoughts on all of the recent talk and litigation regarding homes that are offgassing long after install.
Here is Pats article
Seeing that I am getting a good amount of traffic to my blog, I felt it was time for a name change.
Spray foam does suck, but my blog will know be called Spray Foam Dangers.
Now that we have lots of lawyers on board, I will use my time to educate and raise awareness to the inherent dangers of spray foam insulation.
The lawyers can fight it out with Demilec and the others, but I will try to help give you info on what to do once you figured out your foam is making you sick.
I encourage others to send info and research to help others. I will NEVER post a name or fact that you do not want posted, but please send me your spray foam stories so I can post under a ‘real life SPF stories” this will help us all while we navigate through living with bad foam.
Here is a great discussion about how little we really know about the safety of SPF…Dmitri Martin of Home Energy Pros highlights some good points here.
Our home was 18-23 degrees during application, all windows closed and we are sure the substrate was far below 50 degrees. The product we used is the product that gets the most complaints here at GBA and other forums. The installer has his lawyer on us, with a lien on our home, wanting to be paid for the rest of his bill. Meanwhile his insurance says they will not cover anything and we just paid more than 60k to remove the SPF in hopes we can get a clean IAQ report. Why does this SPF company keep getting away with this? They are busy fighting many many familes, but all the while deny anything is wrong. I am sure application has almost everything to do with this. These stories and many other families are about to become very public. This is not about getting back at anyone, this is about creating awareness to a product that has turned lives upside down, yet t no one will take responsibility. Instead the homeowner is left with financial ruin and emotional dispair. Not to mention potential unknown health issues. All in the name of ‘going green’. I’d love to see where green fits into the 600 large trash bags of removed SPF from my home sitting in a landfill for 1000 years.
Stay tuned, it is hard for any company to deny something is wrong when a large number of people all have the same story to tell.
Ever wonder how many others are out there that have been paid some money to go away and not say anything about their foam? Think about it, if people go public about bad SPF in their home, their home is forever marked, say good bye to market value. So please consider the ones of us that are willing to be public are REALLY concerned and are trying to find what is wrong. We don’t move out of our homes, throw everything away, live in campers or hotels because we want to. Some of us have new born babies and cannot go back to our home, even after the Spf company has tried to remediate it. We are not making this stuff up. We just want some answers and our homes back.
Sooooo….when our symptoms first started when we were in the house with SPF, I questioned if WE were crazy. It is no secret that I am dramatic at times, but my husband, he is pretty anti-dramatic. This was my first red flag (well, aside from the fact that breathing was hard and my eyes and chest stung) indicating something was not right with our new SPF. My husband reacted enough that to this day, he will only stick his head into the front door for a second as he has been advised to stay out of the home.
Dr Carrie Redlich of Yale Hospital is keeping busy with all of us ‘SPF gone wrong’ folks. She is seeing similar things among all of us, so perhaps it will be just a matter of time until a correlation may be drawn. Some of us families have a definite diagnosis and some of us are not there yet. Some of us have big labs testing our homes, some have the EPA researching our homes. Some have had news stations film the demo of parts of their homes,some of us have the SPF installers putting liens on our homes because they think THEY GOT SCREWED. Hey, I’d happily have my installer come collect some of the 600 garbage bags I had to pay to have DUMPED in a landfill for some of my money back (never mind even thinking about OWING YOU more money (BTW, almost all the other SPF homes were done in too cold of conditions). Some of us have big law firms behind us, some have small firms, some are trying to do it without, some simply have to say nothing because all the money in the home would potentially be lost if it was exposed that our SPF was off gassing in the home. Some try to fix the homes, some live in campers or hotels or rentals in order to keep some kind of normal. Some of us have fixed our homes and swallowed the entire financial and emotional burden on our own because the SPF company is just that bad to try to deal with. Some do what the SPF company wants and silently moves on in hopes of getting back to a normal life in another home.
The bottom line is no matter how we individually are handling this nightmare; our symptoms, complaints, and responses from the SPF company are all the same. Something is to be said in the sheer number of SPF families.
If you are interested in being part of a documentary (indicate if travel is possible) please contact me at email@example.com
Robert Miller, CIH, CIEC, CSE, CIAQP, CIAQC and Bernard Bloom, MS, CIAQP, CIEC sent a letter to Steve Owens ( Assistant Administrator Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention). As usual, sounds like the EPA can’t or won’t do anything until people are dying. Love our governing bodies, EPA seems to do even less than the FDA if that is possible.