SPFA is Misleading the Public – One SPF Victims Fight

In the below article posted by SPFA on February 26, 2013, they are claiming to save the day with 5 days notice. They are publicly stating Connecticut was trying to catch them by surprise. This simply was not the case.
Below is SPFA’s public statement online;

http://www.naylornetwork.com/spf-nwl/articles/index.asp?aid=208797&issueID=31960

“SPFA’s Dr. Richard Duncan Testifies in Connecticut on HB 5908, a Bill Considering SPF Certification”

On February 21, the General Law Committee of the State of Connecticut Legislature held a hearing regarding HB 5908, a bill considering the need for professional certifications for the SPF industry. This hearing was only announced five days prior to the date, during the end of SPFA’s Annual Convention and Expo, which left very little time to prepare. Dr. Duncan attended the hearing and offered testimony found on SPFA’s YouTube page here. SPFA testified that it would support the committee’s efforts to consider certification requirements for SPF professionals, and informed the committee of its new industry consensus-developed, ANSI/ISO-accredited Professional Certification Program. SPFA hopes that should this bill move forward, such a program would be a reference point and resource for the state rather than having legislators look to create requirements from scratch. The final product and exceptionally hard work put in by the SPFA members in development of this program could not have come at a better time.

The above article is all Public Relations FLUFF!

Here you will see SPFA deleted my testimony from the link they posted on their public website which shows only Dr. Duncan’s testimony.

This is the full public testimony of Dr. Duncan and Richard Beyer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVjy1Xz2P1g&feature=youtu.be&goback=%252Egde_4233068_member_216953821
My (Richard Beyer) written testimony submitted to the “Connecticut Legislative Law Committee” on February 21, 2013, page 26 (subject heading page) “December 12,2012, 11 a.m. Legislative Office Building” is proof SPFA is lying in their public relations statement that they “only had 5 days to prepare”.
SPFA and Anchor Insulation called for this meeting on December 12, 2012 along with Paul Duffy V.P. of Icynene. Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (aka) SPFA, Kurt Reisenberg was well advised of the governments position regarding H.B. 5908 as indicated on page 27 under “Moving Forward ” “If the State would look at requiring certification for State and Municipal projects they would not object to training standards too (because it is something they already do).”

http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/CommDocTmyBill.asp?comm_code=GL&bill=HB-05908&doc_year=2013

 

What to do if your SPF is off gassing.

I wish I had an easy answer for everyone who has been in contact with me about a SPF horror story.

Nothing about having SPF that  is off gassing is easy.  It is overwhelming to say the least to realize your largest asset and your health are in limbo.  It is very worse when people tell you SPF is safe and you are ‘just sensitive.’

If you are sick from your home take action:

Recommendations from our personal and others experience are as follows:

-Contact the Installer and SPF company.

-Contact an Industrial Hygienist with experience in SPF or isocyanates.

-Get your own IAQ and SPF chamber tests

-Do NOT allow any removal of foam unless done in a controlled fashion (the dust is a dermal and respiratory sensitizers )

-consider legal help, so far the SPF companies only do so much then you are on your own.

-Be cautious of advice from industry specialists as most will defend SPF and erroneously declare that the off gassing is only a “nuisance” odor.

-Keep all info you send and the info sent from the SPF company organized and easy to access.

-Agree or disagree only in writing.

For more info, contact me at foamproblem@gmail.com

 

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Pharos Project States Hazards of SPF

To see the article at Pharos link here

WFTV Channel 9 News Exposes More Toxic Spray Foam Homes.

Todd Ulrich of WFTV aired another news story on toxic spray foam homes last night.

WFTV did not state the brand of SPF used last night, but most brands of SPF have had complaints with Demilec having the most complaints and legal suits filed thus far.

In response to WFTV’s story the American Chemistry Council issued a statement :

…“Spray foam can provide enormous benefits to homeowners, especially in places like Florida where climate control and moisture concerns are significant. Spray foam is a highly effective insulation material and has a unique ability to fill the gaps that can be difficult to seal and allow air to escape. Using spray foam to seal air leaks can help manage moisture and humidity in a building. By controlling moisture, spray foam can limit one of the key variables that can lead to mold and mildew growth.

Wow, that response sounds like it came right out of the sales manual for SPF marketing.

The truth about SPF is …the effectiveness of SPF is good, no one ever disputed that it is not a great insulator. Asbestos was good too.

As for reducing mold and mildew, it does not stop growth of mold – in fact a lot of issues are coming to the surface that homes are filled with mold under the SPF on roof decks due to leaks that go unnoticed.  Also, some homes become too tight from SPF (yes, because it is an effective insulator, but at what cost to your health???) and the HVAC may not have any fresh air intake or proper ventilation thereby adding to moisture problems in the home.

SPF  has flame retardants that become air borne and attach to dust in the home.

“Halogenated fire retardants are becoming widespread in the environment. Halogenated fire retardants (HFRs) can migrate out of furniture foam, electronics, fabric and other consumer products as well as foam insulation so humans are exposed to a “cocktail” of such toxins. Levels of HFRs are increasing in household dust, human blood and breast milk, and wild animals. The chemicals are widely distributed in the outdoor environment with the highest concentrations in the Arctic and marine mammals. Certain classes of brominated fire retardants, the polybrominated diphenyl ethers, have been banned for most applications, but other halogenated chemicals have replaces them.”

From  http://www.greensciencepolicy.org/healthy-buildings

Chlorinated Tris is banned from kids sleepwear in 1979, but it is allowed in our couches and insulation – WTH!

SPF chemicals migrate into all building material during install, especially so if no ventilation of the home during install (did you installer have fans going and windows open?).

SPF contains chemicals that sensitize people/animals and can cause chronic sensitivity to all products containing like chemicals.  Think of living in a bubble because everything from your car AC to entering IKEA make you sick.  SPF is not worth that is it?

SPF produces lethal gases during a fire – the typical response time for fire fighters fighting a foam house is longer because of the protective gear needed.

SPF has so many variables that the ONLY way to get it 100% correct is in a controlled setting like a lab, not on your driveway.

If you SPF seems ok today and not presenting any symptoms or smells, wait for 6 – 7 years then check in again.  More and more homeowners are finding their SPF to start off gassing after 6-7 years.  Why is unknown but perhaps its breaking down due to conditions of being heated/cooled on the underside of the roof deck or wall cavities.

Homeowners that do not know if they have SPF, look in your attic or crawl space. Crawl spaces with SPF are common unfortunately  mold and off gassing also can happen in these homes – but it is hard to pin point because it is in the crawl space.

If you have any concerns about your spray foam insulation, please contact me at foamproblem@gmail.com

Explain what your concern is, any symptoms you experience in the home/space, type of SPF, When installed and what the SPF looks like. can help you test your foam and air.

Your air and foam can be tested for elevated chemicals.

 

A growing threat…

Yet another homeowner finds themselves dealing with toxic foam.

Longwood, Florida – Action 9 exposes a growing threat to local homeowners that could be far more toxic than Chinese drywall.

At least a dozen families now claim foam insulation installed to save energy choked their homes with dangerous gas. Some have been forced out of their homes.

Do You Have Spray Foam?

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 foamproblem@gmail.com or leave a message on this blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

EPA – full website of ‘warnings’ on spf

The EPA continues to tell me and other families with SPF problems that they continue to get more and more spf complaints. Many folks at the EPA that I have personally spoken with have mentioned the unknown safety of SPF. To cover their ass as they continue to allow SPF in homes, they now refer us to their ‘safety’ webpage, link here. It covers lots of ‘unknowns’

More research needed: SPF offgassing

Link to Spray Foam Safety here

“Potential Chemical Exposures
Chemical exposures from SPF may occur through a variety of ways. The work site should be restricted to persons wearing appropriate personal protective equipment.

Vapors and Aerosols
Spray application generates isocyanate vapors and aerosols.
Research data indicate that inhalation exposures during SPF insulation will typically exceed OSHA occupational exposure limits (OELs) and require skin, eye and respiratory protection.
Vapors and aerosols can migrate through the building if the area is not isolated and properly ventilated.
After application, vapors may linger in a building until properly ventilated and thoroughly cleaned.
Dust
Cutting or trimming the foam as it hardens (tack-free phase) may generate dust that may contain unreacted isocyanates and other chemicals.
After application, dust may linger in a building until properly ventilated and thoroughly cleaned.
Heat-generating processes
Any heat-generating processes such as drilling, welding, soldering, grinding, sawing, or sanding on or near the foam insulation may generate a range of airborne degradation (PDF) (3 pp, 109K, About PDF) chemicals, including, isocyanates, amines, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, or nitrogen oxides.
Fires
Fires involving SPF may release isocyanates, hydrogen cyanide, amines, and other toxic chemicals into the air. Read Isocyanates (Emissions from fires) (PDF) (130 pp, 10 MB, About PDF). Fire departments have issued advisories and require the use of full supplied air respirators when fighting polyurethane fires.
Curing
“Curing” of SPF means that the chemicals in the product are reacting to produce polyurethane foam. SPF material is highly adhesive and will stick to most surfaces. SPF may appear hardened or “tack-free” within a range of a few seconds to a few minutes after application. However, at this stage, the foam is still curing and still contains unreacted SPF chemicals.

Some manufacturers estimate that it can take approximately 23-72 hours after application for the foam to fully cure for the two-component high pressure “professional” SPF system, and approximately 8 to 24 hours to cure for one component foam, typically available in 12 oz. to 24 oz. cans, but more research is needed to account for the potential variability of curing rates.

Top of page

Curing Rates of SPF Affect Re-Entry Times
The curing time (complete reaction) varies depending on the type of SPF product, product formulation, applicator technique, foam thickness, temperature, humidity and other factors. Cutting or trimming foam before it is fully cured may cause exposure to unreacted SPF chemicals.

Homeowners, school administrators, and other decision-makers should get clear guidance from contractors, system houses, and product manufacturers on the appropriate time of year to install SPF in your area or weather conditions that may impact the installation of SPF. Temperature and humidity play a critical role in the curing of SPF ingredients. More product research is needed to understand the implications variability may play in future potential off-gassing. Ask to see any reports developed from product testing on re-entry times and the impact of the variability of factors that influence curing.

The polyol blend (B-side) contains a variety of proprietary chemicals and curing rates may vary for different SPF product formulations. Read the manufacturer’s recommendation in the material safety data sheet (MSDS) and other product information for all types of SPF products and applications.

Air sampling and testing the indoor air following SPF installation is one way to assure the foam is completely cured. Emissions testing of SPF foam applied in a laboratory and in the field (at the work site) may vary. Testing should be conducted by a certified laboratory using a validated method such as the Standard Method for the Testing and Evaluation of Volatile Organic Chemical Emissions from Indoor Sources Using Environmental Chambers, Version 1.1 (2010) (PDF) (52pp, 429KB, About PDF) under California Section 01350 .

Long-term Concerns for Exposure Potential
After spray foam is applied and cured, it is considered to be relatively inert; however, there are several situations where the cured foam may pose additional potential risks.

Maintenance workers, including plumbers and electricians, should not heat or grind spray foam. Spray foam can potentially generate toxic emissions under these circumstances.
Building renovations, demolition, or building disassembly done years later can disturb spray foam insulation. Performing hot work on or near polyurethane foam may lead to potential exposures to isocyanates and other toxic emissions.
Potential Off-Gassing
The potential for off-gassing of volatile chemicals from spray polyurethane foam is not fully understood and is an area where more research is needed.

One method for measuring volatile chemicals is the standard method under California Section 01350. In addition, ASTM International, an organization that sets standards for products and materials, has initiated development of a standard (D22.05) to determine volatile organic compounds, diisocyanates, oligomeric isocyanates, and amine catalysts emitted from SPF insulation products designed for on-site application in buildings (ASTM WK30960).”

The Wonderful World Of Foam For Beginners

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

Absolute Remediation – Help and Research For SPF Homes

Today I was contacted by a reputable company using their own money to determine how to help resolve spray foam issues. Steve Todd of Absolute Remediation is looking for SPF to test. Please see his info below…

Steve Todd, President of south Florida based Absolute Remediation a company offering consulting, testing and remediation of defective and contaminated building materials is now offering testing and free consulting to homeowners dealing with contaminated and defective spray foam insulation. Anyone looking to have specific questions answered concerning their home can email Steve directly at stevetodd65@yahoo.com you can expect a response within 24 hours be sure to put “spray foam” in the subject line to assure a quick response.