Building green is becoming more important to a variety of consumers. Spray foam insulation is one way that you can add energy efficiency to your home for not much more than traditional insulation methods. Spray foam insulation has a high R value and a tight seal, but some consumers worry about its safety. The chemicals used to create spray foam insulation have many consumers asking “Is spray foam insulation safe?”
The EPA is concerned about the potential health effects caused by casual exposure to the chemicals used to create the foam. When the foam is cured, there is no more potential for harm. However, do-it-yourselfers can be exposed to the chemicals and without the knowledge of how to properly handle the materials, some people may expose themselves unnecessarily to harsh chemicals.
Spray foam insulation is being marketed as an easy project for do-it-yourselfers. As a result, in recent years more and more homeowners are visiting hardware stores looking for kits and materials to install the foam themselves. These consumers don’t always know of the health risks of the chemicals used in the foam.
As of right now, there are no bans on spray foam insulation. With growing popularity and increased use, it is likely that guidelines and regulations will be put in place in the near future to protect homeowners, installers and other consumers from the potential dangers associated with the product. Until then, manufacturers are putting warning labels on the insulation cartridges and promoting safe handling of the materials. Professionals should be consulted for any installation product to ensure safe and correct application.
There are a growing number of reports of health impacts caused by the foam, particularly the open cell variety. These complaints are coming from professionally-installed spray foam insulations. In many instances, homeowners have even had to vacate their homes because of chemical sensitivities caused by the insulation. Formaldehyde and other chemical sensitizers can cause an initial exposure reaction and sometimes prolonged and debilitating reactions.
Sometimes people confuse green with energy efficient and not healthful or environmentally friendly. Those concerned with saving money on energy expenses may not know the risks that come with foam insulation. It’s important to remember that even energy efficient homes need some air movement to maintain a healthy environment. If you’re thinking of upgrading your home to be more eco-friendly, make sure to talk to your contractor about the potential dangers of the fire retardants in spray foam insulation. For quotes on spray foam insulation, click on the link below.