Dangers Associated with Spray Foam Insulation


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There are several types of insulation that may be harmful to the individual or group of persons residing within a building. One of these under scrutiny by the Environmental Protection Agency is the spray-polyurethane foam used for insulation inside property.

While there are safety protocols in place for the protection of homeowners and leaseholders, it is not possible to ensure all possible safety may be provided to all products. This is especially true if the items such as insulation have not been tested for long enough to determine if there are hazards and dangers to those inside the home or building.

It is difficult for a builder, homeowner and renter to know and understand all the advice and explanations about environmental safety, what to worry about, changes with these concerns and what may arise immediately. There are many products that are recalled or proven dangerous to individuals after they’ve been built into a house or building. It is because of this, the injured persons often must seek compensation for the injuries that insulation and other products in the houses cause. To understand the dangers provides comprehension in how to avoid them and what injuries these products may incur for those inside breathing the air.

Action Plan for Chemicals

The Environmental Protection Agency has initiated an action plan for an entire family of chemicals used in spray polyurethane foam insulation products. Because these materials are deemed unsafe in most instances, certain symptoms have been observed with contact such as skin, eye and lung irritations, issues with asthma and sensitization with chemicals when the person has skin contact or inhaled the substances. Unfortunately, polyurethane is in mattresses, bowling balls and many other products. However, when the material is fully reacted or cured, it is considered stable with little concern to the health of those using or around these items. Other uses such as insulation, spray foam, coatings and similar reactions cause an uncured state where individuals may be exposed to hazardous situations.

Recent Concern over these Products

While there has been a period of several years between concerns with spray foam issues, the recent reason for investigation and removal of these products is due to the increase in the promotion of their use in foams and sealants. These are often due to homeowners doing repairs and maintenance themselves or builders that are unaware of the safety concerns these insulations and products cause.

Many have been exposed to possible adverse health risks due to the use of these chemicals in the foams and sprays. It is in the energy retrofits that spray foam insulation is frequently used, and this is why the growing concern has been raised about these products.

Understanding the Chemical Concerns

The toxic substances found in many of these products are often unknown because the manufacturers claim confidentiality for proprietary ingredients in the formulations of these chemicals. However, certain reactions and breakdowns of these substances may be ascertained so that safety and health risks may be applied to avoidance and removal of dangerous materials. The growing issue with these products is determined through how they adversely affect those that purchase and come into contact with them. This means the EPA may be clamping down on spray foam and similar insulation.

Avoiding Possible Dangers

When spray foam insulation has been used in a building, there are ways in which to protect builders and homeowners from the hazards these products represent. Workers should avoid the dangers of this insulation by vacating for up to twelve hours after the initial installation. Occupants of the home should remain away for up to 24 hours to prevent possible health concerns. While this may not completely eradicate the issue, this is a starting point to avoid exposure. Other avoidance for manufacturers and distributors of these materials may range from eight to 72 hours depending on the amount of certain components in the substances. Various safety administrations have assisted in regulating the protection of all involved.

Stop Use and Legal Assistance with Spray Foam

When the spray foam insulation is placed in the correct areas and not exposed to the occupants of the home, the health dangers are minimized. This means the use of the products may continue as long as there are stricter guidelines in preparing, installing and maintaining them. However, when someone has been injured due to the inhalation or skin contact of spray foam insulation, a person may choose to contact a personal injury lawyer. He or she may be able to explain how compensation can be pursued.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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